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J Med Entomol. 2003 Sep;40(5):698-705.

Sindbis virus-associated pathology in Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae).

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Department of Biology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL 32224-2661, USA.


Virus dissemination and associated pathology were examined in Aedes albopictus after intrathoracic inoculation of Sindbis virus (SIN), the prototypic Alphavirus. At 10 days postinfection, virus RNA was detected in all three-body segments of the insect. Colocalization of virus antigen with structural pathology was observed in mosquito salivary glands and midgut-associated visceral muscles, representing yet another example of arbovirus-associated pathology in a mosquito host. SIN antigen and gross pathology were detected in lateral lobes, but not the medial lobe of salivary glands, whereas virus antigen, vacuolated cytoplasm, and myofilament misalignment were detected in the visceral muscles at the midgut exterior surface. Early in the midgut infection, virus antigen was localized in small foci on the organ surface that progressed to a grate work-like banding pattern that eventually cleared. Both the salivary glands and the midgut are essential to insect survival and reproduction. Additionally, these organs provide a pathway for virus transmission in nature. Although SIN infection may not shorten the mosquito life span, persistent coexistence could permit survival of both host and microbe as well as contribute to alterations in insect behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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