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EFFECT OF MOSQUITO MIDGUT TRYPSIN ACTIVITY ON DENGUE-2 VIRUS INFECTION AND DISSEMINATION IN AEDES AEGYPTI

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  • 1 Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, and the Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, Medical Entomology Section, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland

The effect of mosquito midgut trypsins in dengue serotype 2 flavivirus (DENV-2) infectivity to Aedes aegypti was studied. Addition of soybean trypsin inhibitor (STI) in a DENV-2 infectious blood meal resulted in a 91–97% decrease in midgut DENV-2 RNA copies (qRT-PCR analysis). STI treatment also resulted in slower DENV-2 replication in the midgut, less DENV-2 E protein expression, and decreased dissemination to the thorax and the head. A second uninfected blood meal, 7 days after the STI-treated infectious meal, significantly increased DENV-2 replication in the midgut and recovered oogenesis, suggesting that the lower viral infection caused by STI was in part due to a nutritional effect. Mosquitoes fed DENV-2 digested in vitro with bovine trypsin (before STI addition) exhibited a transient increase in midgut DENV-2 4 days postinfection. Blood digestion and possibly DENV-2 proteolytic processing, mediated by midgut trypsins, influence the rate of DENV-2 infection, replication, and dissemination in Ae. aegypti.

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