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Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 1;6:28792. doi: 10.1038/srep28792.

The wMel strain of Wolbachia Reduces Transmission of Zika virus by Aedes aegypti.

Author information

1
Department of Pathobiological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
2
Programa de Estudio y Control de Enfermedades Tropicales (PECET), Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin, A1226, Colombia.

Abstract

Zika virus (ZIKV) is causing an explosive outbreak of febrile disease in the Americas. There are no effective antiviral therapies or licensed vaccines for this virus, and mosquito control strategies have not been adequate to contain the virus. A promising candidate for arbovirus control and prevention relies on the introduction of the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia into Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This primarily has been proposed as a tool to control dengue virus (DENV) transmission; however, evidence suggests Wolbachia infections confer protection for Ae. aegypti against other arboviruses. At present, it is unknown whether or not ZIKV can infect, disseminate, and be transmitted by Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti. Using Ae. aegypti infected with the wMel strain of Wolbachia that are being released in Medellin, Colombia, we report that these mosquitoes have reduced vector competence for ZIKV. These results support the use of Wolbachia biocontrol as a multivalent strategy against Ae. aegypti-transmitted viruses.

PMID:
27364935
PMCID:
PMC4929456
DOI:
10.1038/srep28792
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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