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Viral Immunol. 2004;17(2):252-65.

Modulation of dengue virus infection of dendritic cells by Aedes aegypti saliva.

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Department of Virus Diseases, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, Maryland 20810, USA.


Dengue virus (DV) is a flavivirus carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito that causes a spectrum of illnesses in the tropics, including dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and dengue shock syndrome. Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen presenting cells recently shown to be permissive for DV, and implicated as the primary targets of initial DV infection. DV is transmitted to human host by infected mosquitoes during a blood meal, but it is currently unknown whether transmission is modified by vector saliva that is also deposited in the host's skin during feeding. Previous studies evaluated only the outcome of DV infection of DCs, and did not address the influence of mosquito saliva. To more fully characterize natural transmission of DV, we evaluated the effects of Ae. aegypti saliva on DV infection of human myeloid DCs. We found that saliva inhibited DV infection in DCs. Moreover, pre-sensitization of DCs with saliva, prior to DV infection, enhanced inhibition. In addition, enhanced production of IL-12p70 and TNF-alpha were detected in DV-infected DC cultures exposed to mosquito saliva. The proportion of dead cells was also significantly reduced in these cultures. These data contribute to the overall understanding of the natural pathogenesis of DV infection and suggest that there is a protective role for mosquito saliva that limits viral uptake by DCs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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