Persistence of dengue-3 virus through transovarial transmission passage in successive generations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

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  • 1 Desert Medicine Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research, Jodhpur.

Progeny of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected intrathoracically with dengue-3 virus was reared to subsequent generations. In each generation, blood-fed females were confined individually and the eggs obtained from the transovarially infected females were pooled. The seventh generation obtained from the infected parental mosquitoes showed that virus could persist in mosquitoes in successive generations through transovarial passage. The rate of vertical transmission initially increased in the few generations (F1-F2), but in subsequent generations it was found to be steady. Parental mosquitoes inoculated with virus showed higher mortality than the diluent-inoculated controls. There was an increase in the larval duration of transovarially infected batches at the seventh generation when compared with uninfected control mosquitoes. The fecundity and fertility of the transovarially infected batches of mosquitoes was also affected when compared with the controls. This is the first report demonstrating persistence of dengue virus in the successive generations of mosquitoes infected through vertical transmission. These observations, which have great epidemiologic importance, suggest that vector mosquitoes may play an important role in the maintenance of virus in nature, and that mosquitoes may act as reservoirs of these viruses.