Characterization of a western Pacific Zika virus strain in Australian Aedes aegypti

Hall-Mendelin, Sonja, Pyke, Alyssa T., Moore, Peter R., Ritchie, Scott A., Moore, Frederick A.J., and van den Hurk, Andrew F. (2018) Characterization of a western Pacific Zika virus strain in Australian Aedes aegypti. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 18 (6). pp. 317-322.

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Zika virus (ZIKV) is a globally emerging arbovirus responsible for widespread epidemics in the western Pacific, the Americas, and Asia. The virus predominately circulates in urban transmission cycles between Aedes aegypti and humans. Australia is considered at risk to outbreaks of ZIKV due to the presence of A. aegypti populations in northern areas of the state of Queensland. Furthermore, close proximity to epidemic regions has led to almost 50% of imported cases reported since 2012 originating in the Pacific region. We conducted the first vector competence experiments with A. aegypti from three Australian populations for a western Pacific strain of ZIKV. When exposed to bloodmeals containing between 105 and 108 tissue culture infectious dose (TCID)50/mL of virus, infection, dissemination, and transmission, rates were <10%. In comparison to using frozen virus stock, exposing mosquitoes to freshly cultured virus also did not increase infection or transmission rates. It was only when bloodmeal titers exceeded 108 TCID50/mL that infection rates approached 50% and transmission rates increased to >20%. However, this concentration of virus is considerably higher than levels previously reported in blood samples from viremic humans. The Australian A. aegypti tested appear to express a midgut barrier to ZIKV infection, as 50% of mosquitoes that became infected developed a disseminated infection, and 50% of those mosquitoes transmitted the virus. Overall, these results suggest that while Australian A. aegypti strains are able to transmit the western Pacific ZIKV strain, they are relatively inefficient vectors of the virus.

Item ID: 58515
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1557-7759
Keywords: Aedes aegypti; Australia; mosquito(es); transmission; Zika virus
Copyright Information: © Copyright 2018, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Funders: Forensic and Scientific Services (FSS), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: FSS research and development grant RSS17-005, NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship 1044698
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 22:24
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420203 Environmental epidemiology @ 100%
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