Genetic Selection of a Flavivirus-Refractory Strain of the Yellow Fever Mosquito Aedes Aegypti

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  • Medical Entomology-Ecology Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Public Health Service, US Department of Health and Human Services, Fort Collins, Colorado

Two inbred (isofemale) Aedes aegypti mosquito lines were derived that manifested a resistant or susceptible phenotype following ingestion of yellow fever virus; lack of virus movement from the midgut defined the resistant phenotype. Other flaviviruses, including dengue 1–4, Uganda S, and Zika, viruses behaved in a similar fashion in the two mosquito lines. Crosses between the two lines produced progeny that were of intermediate susceptibility, indicating codominance; F2 backcrosses to the parents yielded results consistent with a major controlling genetic locus and provide evidence of a second locus capable of modulating the phenotype of the major gene. The rapid selection necessary to fix the susceptible and refractory phenotypes support the hypothesis of a single major controlling locus. Viral movement across the midgut is likely to be governed by a single major gene and modifying minor genes or a group of closely linked genes. These inbred mosquito lines will be useful in discovering the molecular basis for flavivirus resistance in Ae. aegypti.

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