Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 31412040
Link to DOI – 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007299
PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2019 08; 13(8): e0007299
To be transmitted to vertebrate hosts via the saliva of their vectors, arthropod-borne viruses have to cross several barriers in the mosquito body, including the midgut infection and escape barriers. Yellow fever virus (YFV) belongs to the genus Flavivirus, which includes human viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, such as dengue and Zika viruses. The live-attenuated YFV-17D vaccine has been used safely and efficiently on a large scale since the end of World War II. Early studies have shown, using viral titration from salivary glands of infected mosquitoes, that YFV-17D can infect Aedes aegypti midgut, but does not disseminate to other tissues.Here, we re-visited this issue using a panel of techniques, such as RT-qPCR, Western blot, immunofluorescence and titration assays. We showed that YFV-17D replication was not efficient in Aedes aegypti midgut, as compared to the clinical isolate YFV-Dakar. Viruses that replicated in the midgut failed to disseminate to secondary organs. When injected into the thorax of mosquitoes, viruses succeeded in replicating into midgut-associated tissues, suggesting that, during natural infection, the block for YFV-17D replication occurs at the basal membrane of the midgut.The two barriers associated with Ae. aegypti midgut prevent YFV-17D replication. Our study contributes to our basic understanding of vector-pathogen interactions and may also aid in the development of non-transmissible live virus vaccines.