Wolbachia strain wAlbA blocks Zika virus transmission in Aedes aegypti

Chouin‐Carneiro, T., Ant, T.H., Herd, C., Louis, F., Failloux, A.B. and Sinkins, S.P. (2020) Wolbachia strain wAlbA blocks Zika virus transmission in Aedes aegypti. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 34(1), pp. 116-119. (doi: 10.1111/mve.12384) (PMID:31120156) (PMCID:PMC7027442)

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Transinfections of the maternally transmitted endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis can reduce RNA virus replication and prevent transmission by Aedes aegypti, and also have the capacity to invade wild‐type populations, potentially reaching and maintaining high infection frequencies. Levels of virus transmission blocking are positively correlated with Wolbachia intracellular density. Despite reaching high densities in Ae. aegypti, transinfections of wAlbA, a strain native to Aedes albopictus, showed no blocking of Semliki Forest Virus in previous intrathoracic injection challenges. To further characterize wAlbA blocking in Ae. aegypti, adult females were intrathoracically challenged with Zika (ZIKV) and dengue viruses, and then fed a ZIKV‐containing bloodmeal. No blocking was observed with either virus when challenged by intrathoracic injection. However, when ZIKV was delivered orally, wAlbA‐infected females showed a significant reduction in viral replication and dissemination compared with uninfected controls, as well as a complete absence of virus in saliva. Although other Wolbachia strains have been shown to cause more robust viral blocking in Ae. aegypti, these findings demonstrate that, in principle, wAlbA could be used to reduce virus transmission in this species. Moreover, the results highlight the potential for underestimation of the strength of virus‐blocking when based on intrathoracic injection compared with more natural oral challenges.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sinkins, Professor Steven and Herd, Dr Christie and Ant, Dr Thomas
Authors: Chouin‐Carneiro, T., Ant, T.H., Herd, C., Louis, F., Failloux, A.B., and Sinkins, S.P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Medical and Veterinary Entomology
ISSN (Online):1365-2915
Published Online:23 May 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Medical and Veterinary Entomology 34(1): 116-119
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
772321Wolbachia-based control of virus transmission by the mosquito Aedes albopictusSteven SinkinsWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)108508/Z/15/ZMVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH
732881Wolbachia-mediated arbovirus inhibition in mosquitoesSteven SinkinsWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)202888/Z/16/ZMVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH