Infection with dengue-2 virus alters proteins in naturally expectorated saliva of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.


We present our characterizations of these changes with regards to viral transmission and mosquito blood-feeding success. Further, we conclude that our proteomic analysis of Aedes aegypti saliva altered by DENV infection provides a unique opportunity to identify pro-viral impacts key to virus transmission.

Therefore, we conducted a proteomic analysis using 2-D gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry based protein identification comparing the naturally expectorated saliva of Aedes aegypti infected with DENV-2 relative to that of uninfected Aedes aegypti.

Several proteins were found to be differentially expressed in the saliva of DENV-2 infected mosquitoes, in particular proteins with anti-hemostatic and pain inhibitory functions were significantly reduced. Hypothetical consequences of these particular protein reductions include increased biting rates and transmission success, and lead to alteration of transmission potential as calculated in our vectorial capacity model.

Dengue virus (DENV) is responsible for up to approximately 300 million infections and an increasing number of deaths related to severe manifestations each year in affected countries throughout the tropics. It is critical to understand the drivers of this emergence, including the role of vector-virus interactions. When a DENV-infected Aedes aegypti mosquito bites a vertebrate, the virus is deposited along with a complex mixture of salivary proteins. However, the influence of a DENV infection upon the expectorated salivary proteome of its vector has yet to be determined.

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