Confocal Analysis of the Distribution and Persistence of Sindbis Virus (TaV-GFP) Infection in Midguts of Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes
Biological transmission of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) to vertebrate hosts by hematophagous insects poses a global threat because such arboviruses can result in a range of serious public health infectious diseases. Sindbis virus (SINV), the prototype Alphavirus, was used to track infections in the posterior midgut (PMG) of Aedes aegypti adult mosquitoes. Females were fed viremic blood containing a virus reporter, SINV [Thosea asigna virus-green fluorescent protein (TaV-GFP)], that leaves a fluorescent signal in infected cells. We assessed whole-mount PMGs to identify primary foci, secondary target tissues, distribution, and virus persistence. Following a viremic blood meal, PMGs were dissected and analyzed at various days of post blood-feeding. We report that virus foci indicated by GFP in midgut epithelial cells resulted in a 9.8% PMG infection and a 10.8% dissemination from these infected guts. The number of virus foci ranged from 1 to 3 per individual PMG and was more prevalent in the PMG-middle > PMG-frontal > PMG-caudal regions. SINV TaV-GFP was first observed in the PMG (primary target tissue) at 3 days post blood-feeding, was sequestered in circumscribed foci, replicated in PMG peristaltic muscles (secondary target tissue) following dissemination, and GFP was observed to persist in PMGs for 30 days postinfection.
Microscopy and Microanalysis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Change citation format Saredy, J., Chim, F., Lyski, Z., Ahearn, Y., & Bowers, D. (2020). Confocal Analysis of the Distribution and Persistence of Sindbis Virus (TaV-GFP) Infection in Midguts of Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 26(2), 267-274. doi:10.1017/S1431927620001270