Dengue virus is one of the most important arboviral pathogens and the causative agent of dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and dengue shock syndrome. It is transmitted between humans by the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, and at least 2.5 billion people are at daily risk of infection. During their lifecycle, mosquitoes are exposed to a variety of microbes, some of which are needed for their successful development into adulthood. However, recent studies have suggested that the adult mosquito's midgut microflora is critical in influencing the transmission of human pathogens. In this study we assessed the reciprocal interactions between the mosquito's midgut microbiota and dengue virus infection that are, to a large extent, mediated by the mosquito's innate immune system. We observed a marked decrease in susceptibility to dengue virus infection when mosquitoes harbored certain field-derived bacterial isolates in their midgut. Transcript abundance analysis of selected antimicrobial peptide genes suggested that the mosquito's microbiota elicits a basal immune activity that appears to act against dengue virus infection. Conversely, the elicitation of the mosquito immune response by dengue virus infection itself influences the microbial load of the mosquito midgut. In sum, we show that the mosquito's microbiota influences dengue virus infection of the mosquito, which in turn activates its antibacterial responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases