Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 31004099
Sci Rep 2019 Apr;9(1):6319
Mosquitoes are colonized by a little-studied natural virome. Like the bacterial microbiome, the virome also probably influences the biology and immunity of mosquito vector populations, but tractable experimental models are lacking. We recently discovered two novel viruses in the virome of wild Anopheles and in colonies of the malaria vector Anopheles coluzzii: Anopheles C virus and Anopheles cypovirus. Here, we describe biological interactions between these two viruses and An. coluzzii mosquitoes. Viral abundance varies reproducibly during mosquito development. DNA forms of these viruses were not detected, and thus viral persistence is likely based on vertical transmission of RNA genomes. At least Anopheles C virus is vertically transmitted by an intraembryonic route. Relative abundance of the two viruses is inversely correlated in individual mosquitoes. One possible mechanism for this could be interactions with host immunity, and functional genomic analysis indicated differential influence of at least the Toll and JAK/STAT immune signaling pathways upon the viruses. The nonrandom distributions and interactions with host immunity suggest that these and other members of the natural virome may constitute a source of unrecognized heterogeneity in mosquito vector populations.