Volume 59, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


A quantitative genetic study of the ability of Aedes aegypti to propagate dengue-2 (DEN-2) virus in the midgut and in a disseminated infection in the head was conducted with a standard half-sib breeding design. Aedes aegypti aegypti and A. aegypti formosus differ markedly in oral susceptibility to DEN-2 virus. Mosquitoes were orally infected and, after an extrinsic incubation period of 14 days, virus titer (by tissue culture infectious dose, 50% endpoint) was determined in the midgut (MT) and head (HT). Body size as measured by wing length was not significantly different between infected and uninfected mosquitoes and was not correlated with MT or HT The heritability for MT in both subspecies was 0.41 and was 0.39 for HT in A. aegypti formosus. In A. aegypti aegypti, HT appeared to be controlled by dominant alleles. The MT was not correlated with HT nor did MT determine whether virus disseminated out of the midgut. These results suggest that it is the barriers to infection and dissemination, independent of virus titer, that determine vector competence for DEN-2 virus.


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