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Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 16;6:20979. doi: 10.1038/srep20979.

Development of non-defective recombinant densovirus vectors for microRNA delivery in the invasive vector mosquito, Aedes albopictus.

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Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Research, Department of Pathogen Biology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510515, China.
Reproductive Medical Center of Guangdong Women and Children Hospital, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 511442, China.


We previously reported that mosquito densoviruses (MDVs) are potential vectors for delivering foreign nucleic acids into mosquito cells. However, considering existing expression strategies, recombinant viruses would inevitably become replication-defective viruses and lose their ability for secondary transmission. The packaging limitations of the virion represent a barrier for the development of MDVs for viral paratransgenesis or as high-efficiency bioinsecticides. Herein, we report the development of a non-defective recombinant Aedes aegypti densovirus (AaeDV) miRNA expression system, mediated by an artificial intron, using an intronic miRNA expression strategy. We demonstrated that this recombinant vector could be used to overexpress endogenous miRNAs or to decrease endogenous miRNAs by generating antisense sponges to explore the biological functions of miRNAs. In addition, the vector could express antisense-miRNAs to induce efficient gene silencing in vivo and in vitro. The recombinant virus effectively self-replicated and retained its secondary transmission ability, similar to the wild-type virus. The recombinant virus was also genetically stable. This study demonstrated the first construction of a non-defective recombinant MDV miRNA expression system, which represents a tool for the functional analysis of mosquito genes and lays the foundation for the application of viral paratransgenesis for dengue virus control.

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