The main vectors of Zika virus are Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Aedes albopictus mosquitoes were found to be competent in laboratory experiments. Within the context of the possible emergence of this virus in Europe, we need to determine the vector competence of local populations of this vector. Moreover, in order to better define the vector/pathogen interaction, we will also perform comparative proteomic studies on the main barriers of infection of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes infected by Zika virus to define the common or distinct protein networks modulated by the same virus in two different vectors.
Zika virus was associated with a high incidence of Guillain-Barré syndromes during the epidemics in French Polynesia in 2013-2014. Moreover, an unusual increase of central nervous system malformations in fetuses and infants was also observed during Zika epidemics both in French Polynesia and in Brazil. To better analyze the pathogenicity of Zika virus, we need to set up animal models able to reproduce the physiopathology observed in humans. We need to reproduce these results with various doses of virus. Moreover, we will also infect pregnant mice at various times of pregnancy to determine whether brain malformations could be observed in fetuses.