The Use of Mosquitoes to Detect and Propagate Dengue Viruses

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  • Pacific Research Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Tropical Medicine and Medical Microbiology, University of Hawaii Medical School, P. O. Box 1680, Honolulu, Hawaii 96806
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Parenteral inoculation of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes was found to be a much more sensitive method to detect dengue viruses than was plaque assay in LLC-MK2 cells—the most sensitive dengue isolation system known heretofore. This was true whether the viruses were present in sera from naturally infected humans or had been “adapted” to LLC-MK2 cells or newborn mice. Male mosquitoes were as susceptible to infection as females and could be used without the safety precautions necessary for the latter. All four types of dengue virus replicated to high titer in both male and female mosquitoes and high titered pools of virus could be prepared from these insects without the possible modifying effects of “adaptation” to cell cultures or mice.