Delineation of La Crosse Virus in Developmental Stages of Transovarially Infected Aedes Triseriatus

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  • Zoonoses Research Unit, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

The tropisms and development of La Crosse (LAC) virus in stages of transovarially infected Aedes triseriatus were studied with fluorescent antibody (FA) stained dissected organs and titrations of individual arthropods in suckling mice. Viral antigen was detected by FA in 95 of 387 dissected larvae, pupae, and adults. In larvae highest levels of fluorescence were detected in the alimentary tract, followed by ganglia, malpighian tubule, muscle, and other tissues. No specific organs or germ layer-derived tissues appeared to be the sole source of viral replication. Most tissues and organs of A. triseriatus are capable of maintaining LAC virus. Antigen was detected in the identifiable organs immediately upon emergence from the egg. In pupae and adults antigen was detected at high levels in foregut, gonadal and associated tissues, and in salivary glands, which would indicate females could be infective upon emergence. Virus was isolated from all arthropod stages, in 32 of 130 individuals inoculated into suckling mice. Titrations ranged from less than 1.0 log10 SMICLD50 per 0.02 ml for eggs and 1st instar larvae to 3.0 log10 SMICLD50 for 4th instar larvae. Adults and pupae averaged between 2.0 and 3.0 log10 SMICLD50. Increases in titer during maturation were mainly related to increases in size of the organism rather than in titer per unit volume.