Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 33110109
Link to DOI – 10.1038/s41598-020-75042-4
Sci Rep 2020 10; 10(1): 18404
In most of the world, Dengue virus (DENV) is mainly transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti while in Europe, Aedes albopictus is responsible for human DENV cases since 2010. Identifying mutations that make DENV more competent for transmission by Ae. albopictus will help to predict emergence of epidemic strains. Ten serial passages in vivo in Ae. albopictus led to select DENV-1 strains with greater infectivity for this vector in vivo and in cultured mosquito cells. These changes were mediated by multiple adaptive mutations in the virus genome, including a mutation at position 10,418 in the DENV 3’UTR within an RNA stem-loop structure involved in subgenomic flavivirus RNA production. Using reverse genetics, we showed that the 10,418 mutation alone does not confer a detectable increase in transmission efficiency in vivo. These results reveal the complex adaptive landscape of DENV transmission by mosquitoes and emphasize the role of epistasis in shaping evolutionary trajectories of DENV variants.