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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012;6(11):e1892. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001892. Epub 2012 Nov 1.

Impact of Wolbachia on infection with chikungunya and yellow fever viruses in the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti.

Author information

1
Public Health Virology, Communicable Diseases Unit, Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services, Coopers Plains, Australia. andrew_hurk@health.qld.gov.au

Abstract

Incidence of disease due to dengue (DENV), chikungunya (CHIKV) and yellow fever (YFV) viruses is increasing in many parts of the world. The viruses are primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti, a highly domesticated mosquito species that is notoriously difficult to control. When transinfected into Ae. aegypti, the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia has recently been shown to inhibit replication of DENVs, CHIKV, malaria parasites and filarial nematodes, providing a potentially powerful biocontrol strategy for human pathogens. Because the extent of pathogen reduction can be influenced by the strain of bacterium, we examined whether the wMel strain of Wolbachia influenced CHIKV and YFV infection in Ae. aegypti. Following exposure to viremic blood meals, CHIKV infection and dissemination rates were significantly reduced in mosquitoes with the wMel strain of Wolbachia compared to Wolbachia-uninfected controls. However, similar rates of infection and dissemination were observed in wMel infected and non-infected Ae. aegypti when intrathoracic inoculation was used to deliver virus. YFV infection, dissemination and replication were similar in wMel-infected and control mosquitoes following intrathoracic inoculations. In contrast, mosquitoes with the wMelPop strain of Wolbachia showed at least a 10(4) times reduction in YFV RNA copies compared to controls. The extent of reduction in virus infection depended on Wolbachia strain, titer and strain of the virus, and mode of exposure. Although originally proposed for dengue biocontrol, our results indicate a Wolbachia-based strategy also holds considerable promise for YFV and CHIKV suppression.

PMID:
23133693
PMCID:
PMC3486898
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pntd.0001892
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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