Acta tropica

Dynamics of midgut microflora and dengue virus impact on life history traits in Aedes aegypti.

PMID 25193134


Significant morbidity and potential mortality following dengue virus infection is a re-emerging global health problem. Due to the limited effectiveness of current disease control methods, mosquito biologists have been searching for new methods of controlling dengue transmission. While much effort has concentrated on determining genetic aspects to vector competence, paratransgenetic approaches could also uncover novel vector control strategies. The interactions of mosquito midgut microflora and pathogens may play significant roles in vector biology. However, little work has been done to see how the microbiome influences the host's fitness and ultimately vector competence. Here we investigated the effects of the midgut microbial environment and dengue infection on several fitness characteristics among three strains of the primary dengue virus vector mosquito Aedes aegypti. This included comparisons of dengue infection rates of females with and without their normal midgut flora. According to our findings, few effects on fitness characteristics were evident following microbial clearance or with dengue virus infection. Adult survivorship significantly varied due to strain and in one strain varied due to antibiotic treatment. Fecundity varied in one strain due to microbial clearance by antibiotics but no variation was observed in fertility due to either treatment. We show here that fitness characteristics of Ae. aegypti vary largely between strains, including varying response to microflora presence or absence, but did not vary in response to dengue virus infection.