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Dengue virus infection changes Aedes aegypti oviposition olfactory preferences

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-09, 23:13 authored by Julie Gaburro, Prasad N Paradkar, Melissa Klein, Asim BhattiAsim Bhatti, Saeid Nahavandi, Jean-Bernard Duchemin
AbstractAedes aegypti mosquitoes, main vectors for numerous flaviviruses, have olfactory preferences and are capable of olfactory learning especially when seeking their required environmental conditions to lay their eggs. In this study, we showed that semiochemical conditions during Aedes aegypti larval rearing affected future female choice for oviposition: water-reared mosquitoes preferred to lay eggs in water or p-cresol containers, while skatole reared mosquitoes preferred skatole sites. Using two independent behavioural assays, we showed that this skatole preference was lost in mosquitoes infected with dengue virus. Viral RNA was extracted from infected female mosquito heads, and an increase of virus load was detected from 3 to 10 days post infection, indicating replication in the insect head and possibly in the central nervous system. Expression of selected genes, potentially implied in olfactory learning processes, were also altered during dengue infection. Based on these results, we hypothesise that dengue virus infection alters gene expression in the mosquito’s head and is associated with a loss of olfactory preferences, possibly modifying oviposition site choice of female mosquitoes.

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