Wolbachia reduces the transmission potential of dengue-infected Aedes aegypti

Ye, Yixin H., Carrasco, Alison M., Frentiu, Francesca D., Chenoweth, Stephen F., Beebe, Nigel W., van den Hurk, Andrew F., Simmons, Cameron P., O'Neill, Scott L. and McGraw, Elizabeth A. (2015) Wolbachia reduces the transmission potential of dengue-infected Aedes aegypti. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9 6: 1-19. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003894

Author Ye, Yixin H.
Carrasco, Alison M.
Frentiu, Francesca D.
Chenoweth, Stephen F.
Beebe, Nigel W.
van den Hurk, Andrew F.
Simmons, Cameron P.
O'Neill, Scott L.
McGraw, Elizabeth A.
Title Wolbachia reduces the transmission potential of dengue-infected Aedes aegypti
Formatted title
Wolbachia reduces the transmission potential of dengue-infected Aedes aegypti
Journal name PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1935-2735
Publication date 2015-06-26
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003894
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 6
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background:  Dengue viruses (DENV) are the causative agents of dengue, the world’s most prevalent arthropod-borne disease with around 40% of the world’s population at risk of infection annually. Wolbachia pipientis, an obligate intracellular bacterium, is being developed as a biocontrol strategy against dengue because it limits replication of the virus in the mosquito. The Wolbachia strain wMel, which has been introduced into the mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, has been shown to invade and spread to near fixation in field releases. Standard measures of Wolbachia’s efficacy for blocking virus replication focus on the detection and quantification of virus in mosquito tissues. Examining the saliva provides a more accurate measure of transmission potential and can reveal the extrinsic incubation period (EIP), that is, the time it takes virus to arrive in the saliva following the consumption of DENV viremic blood. EIP is a key determinant of a mosquito’s ability to transmit DENVs, as the earlier the virus appears in the saliva the more opportunities the mosquito will have to infect humans on subsequent bites.

Methodology/Principal Findings:  We used a non-destructive assay to repeatedly quantify DENV in saliva from wMel-infected and Wolbachia-free wild-type control mosquitoes following the consumption of a DENV-infected blood meal. We show that wMel lengthens the EIP, reduces the frequency at which the virus is expectorated and decreases the dengue copy number in mosquito saliva as compared to wild-type mosquitoes. These observations can at least be partially explained by an overall reduction in saliva produced by wMel mosquitoes. More generally, we found that the concentration of DENV in a blood meal is a determinant of the length of EIP, saliva virus titer and mosquito survival.

Conclusions/Significance:  The saliva-based traits reported here offer more disease-relevant measures of Wolbachia’s effects on the vector and the virus. The lengthening of EIP highlights another means, in addition to the reduction of infection frequencies and DENV titers in mosquitoes, by which Wolbachia should operate to reduce DENV transmission in the field.
Keyword Wolbachia pipientis
Aedes aegypti
Dengue viruses
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article # e0003894

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 7 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 21 Jul 2015, 00:24:15 EST by System User on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service