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J Gen Virol. 2013 Apr;94(Pt 4):783-8. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.046664-0. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

Replacement of conserved or variable sequences of the mosquito-borne dengue virus 3' UTR with homologous sequences from Modoc virus does not change infectivity for mosquitoes.

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Molecular Biology Program, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA.


The genus Flavivirus includes both vector-borne and no known vector (NKV) species, but the molecular determinants of transmission mode are not known. Conserved sequence differences between the two groups occur in 5' and 3' UTRs. To investigate the impact of these differences on transmission, chimeric genomes were generated, in which UTRs, UTRs+capsid, or the upper 3' UTR stem-loop of mosquito-borne dengue virus (DENV) were replaced with homologous regions from NKV Modoc virus (MODV); the conserved pentanucleotide sequence (CPS) was also deleted from the DENV genome. Virus was not recovered following transfection of these genomes in three different cell types. However, DENV genomes in which the CPS or variable region (VR) of the 3' UTR were replaced with MODV sequences were recovered and infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with similar efficiencies to DENV. These results demonstrate that neither vector-borne CPS nor VR is required for vector-borne transmission.

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