Viral Tropical Medicine (CM Beaumier, Section Editor)

Current Tropical Medicine Reports

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 21-31

Novel Genetic and Molecular Tools for the Investigation and Control of Dengue Virus Transmission by Mosquitoes

  • Alexander W. E. FranzAffiliated withDepartment of Veterinary Pathobiology, 303 Connaway Hall, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri Email author 
  • , Rollie J. ClemAffiliated withMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Program, Division of Biology, 116 Ackert Hall, Kansas State University
  • , A. Lorena PassarelliAffiliated withMolecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Program, Division of Biology, 116 Ackert Hall, Kansas State University

Abstract

Aedes aegypti is the principal vector of dengue virus (DENV) throughout the tropical world. This anthropophilic mosquito species needs to be persistently infected with DENV before it can transmit the virus through its saliva to a new vertebrate host. In the mosquito, DENV is confronted with several innate immune pathways, among which RNA interference is considered the most important. The Ae. aegypti genome project opened the doors for advanced molecular studies on pathogen–vector interactions, including genetic manipulation of the vector for basic research and vector control purposes. Thus, Ae. aegypti has become the primary model for studying vector competence for arboviruses at the molecular level. Here, we present recent findings regarding DENV–mosquito interactions, emphasizing how innate immune responses modulate DENV infections in Ae. aegypti. We also describe the latest advancements in genetic manipulation of Ae. aegypti and discuss how this technology can be used to investigate vector transmission of DENV at the molecular level and to control transmission of the virus in the field.

Keywords

Dengue virus Mosquito Aedes aegypti Aedes albopictus Virus transmission Innate immunity RNA interference Toll JAK-STAT Apoptosis Transgenesis Transposon Site-specific recombination Promoter Gene-knockout Gene expression Homing endonuclease TALEN Zinc finger nuclease Wolbachia RIDL Population replacement Effector gene Viral tropical medicine