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J Gen Virol. 2006 Oct;87(Pt 10):2993-3001.

Role of the yellow fever virus structural protein genes in viral dissemination from the Aedes aegypti mosquito midgut.

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Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555-0609, USA.


Live-attenuated virus vaccines are key components in controlling arboviral diseases, but they must not disseminate in or be transmitted by mosquito vectors. Although the cycles in which many mosquito-borne viruses are transmitted are well understood, the role of viral genetics in these processes has not been fully elucidated. Yellow fever virus (YFV) is an important arbovirus and the prototype member of the family Flaviviridae. Here, YFV was used in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes as a model to investigate the genetic basis of infection and dissemination in mosquitoes. Viruses derived from infectious clones and chimeric viruses with defined sequential manipulations were used to investigate the influence of specific sequences within the membrane and envelope structural protein genes on dissemination of virus from the mosquito midgut. Substitution of domain III of the envelope protein from a midgut-restricted YFV into a wild-type YFV resulted in a marked decrease in virus dissemination, suggesting an important role for domain III in this process. However, synergism between elements within the flavivirus structural and non-structural protein genes may be necessary for efficient virus escape from the mosquito midgut.

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