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Dengue Virus Infection in Aedes albopictus during the 2014 Autochthonous Dengue Outbreak in Tokyo Metropolis, Japan

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  • 1 Department of Environmental Parasitology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan;
  • | 2 Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan;
  • | 3 Department of Research Promotion, Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development, Tokyo, Japan;
  • | 4 Isotope Imaging Laboratory, Creative Research Institution, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido, Japan;
  • | 5 Department of Virology I, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan;
  • | 6 Department of Virology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan;
  • | 7 Division of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Control, National Defense Medical Research Institute, National Defense Medical College, Saitama, Japan;
  • | 8 Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Public Health, Kanagawa, Japan;
  • | 9 Department of Agricultural and Environmental Biology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
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In 2014 in Japan, 162 autochthonous dengue cases were reported for the first time in nearly 70 years. Here, we report the results of the detection and isolation of dengue virus (DENV) from mosquitoes collected in Tokyo Metropolis in 2014 and 2015. The phylogenetic relationship among DENV isolates from mosquitoes and from patients based on both the entire envelope gene and whole coding sequences was evaluated. Herein, 2,298 female and 956 male Aedes albopictus mosquitoes were collected at six suspected locations of DENV infection in Tokyo Metropolis from August to October in 2014 and grouped into 124 and 35 pools, respectively, for viral genome detection and DENV isolation. Dengue virus RNA was detected using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and TaqMan assays from 49 female pools; 16 isolates were obtained using C6/36 and Vero cells. High minimum infection rates (11.2–66.7) persisted until mid-September. All DENV isolates belonged to the genotype I in serotype 1 (DENV-1), and its sequences demonstrated > 99% homology to the sequence of the DENV isolated from a patient in the vicinity of Tokyo Metropolis in 2014. Therefore, Ae. albopictus was a major DENV vector, and a single DENV-1 strain circulated in Tokyo Metropolis in 2014. Dengue virus was not detected from male mosquitoes in 2014 and wild larvae in April 2015. Thus, the possibility of both vertical transmission and overwintering of DENV was extremely low, even in dengue-epidemic areas. This study reports the first entomological information on a dengue outbreak in a temperate region, where no Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are distributed.

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Author Notes

Address correspondence to Kyoko Sawabe, Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 1-23-1 Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan. E-mail: sawabe@nih.go.jp

Financial support: This work was partly supported by grant-in-aids awarded by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (H24-Shinko-Ippan-007), Research Program on Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases (2015–2017) from Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), and by the Japan Initiative for Global Research network on Infectious Diseases (J-GRID) (2015–2017) from Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science, and Technology in Japan and AMED.

Authors’ addresses: Daisuke Kobayashi, Katsunori Murota, Kentaro Itokawa, Yoshihide Maekawa, Kohei Ogawa, Yoshio Tsuda, Toshinori Sasaki, Mutsuo Kobayashi, Haruhiko Isawa, and Kyoko Sawabe, Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan, E-mails: dkoba@nih.go.jp, murota@nih.go.jp, Itokawa@nih.go.jp, maekawa@nih.go.jp, kogawa@spring8.or.jp, tsudayso@nih.go.jp, tsasaki@nih.go.jp, mutsuo@nih.go.jp, hisawa@nih.go.jp, and sawabe@nih.go.jp. Ryosuke Fujita, Isotope Imaging Laboratory, Creative Research Institution, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido, Japan, E-mail: r-fujita@cris.hokudai.ac.jp. Akira Kotaki, Department of Virology 1, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan, E-mail: ak@nih.go.jp. Meng Ling Moi, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan, E-mail: sherry@nagasaki-u.ac.jp. Hiroko Ejiri, Division of infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Control, National Defense Medical Research Institute, National Defense Medical College, Saitama, Japan, E-mail: ejiri@ndmc.ac.jp. Tomohiko Takasaki, Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Public Health, Kanagawa, Japan, E-mail: takasaki.jp58@pref.kanagawa.jp.

These authors contributed equally to this work.

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