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Transgenic refractory Aedes aegypti lines are resistant to multiple serotypes of dengue virus


The areas where dengue virus (DENV) is endemic have expanded rapidly, driven in part by the global spread of Aedes species, which act as disease vectors. DENV replicates in the mosquito midgut and is disseminated to the mosquito's salivary glands for amplification. Thus, blocking virus infection or replication in the tissues of the mosquito may be a viable strategy for reducing the incidence of DENV transmission to humans. Here we used the mariner Mos1 transposase to create an Aedes aegypti line that expresses virus-specific miRNA hairpins capable of blocking DENV replication. These microRNA are driven by the blood-meal-inducible carboxypeptidase A promoter or by the polyubiquitin promoter. The transgenic mosquitoes exhibited significantly lower infection rates and viral titers for most DENV serotypes 7 days after receiving an infectious blood meal. The treatment was also effective at day 14 post infection after a second blood meal had been administered. In viral transmission assay, we found there was significantly reduced transmission in these lines. These transgenic mosquitoes were effective in silencing most of the DENV genome; such an approach may be employed to control a dengue fever epidemic.

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