Dengue Exposure and Wolbachia wMel Strain Affects the Fertility of Quiescent Eggs of Aedes aegypti

M. T. Petersen, D. Couto-Lima, G. A. Garcia, M. G. Pavan, M. R. David and R. Maciel-de-Freitas,  Viruses,  15. 2023.

(1) Background: The deployment of the bacterium Wolbachia to reduce arbovirus transmission is ongoing in several countries worldwide. When Wolbachia-carrying Aedes aegypti are released and established in the field, females may feed on dengue-infected hosts. The effects of simultaneous exposure on life-history traits of Ae. aegypti to Wolbachia wMel strain and dengue-1 virus DENV-1 remain unclear. (2) Methods: We monitored 4 groups (mosquitoes with either DENV-1 or Wolbachia, coinfected with DENV-1 and Wolbachia, as well as negative controls) to estimate Ae. aegypti survival, oviposition success, fecundity, collapsing and fertility of quiescent eggs for 12 weeks. (3) Results: Neither DENV-1 nor Wolbachia had a significant impact on mosquito survival nor on mosquito fecundity, although the last parameter showed a tendency to decrease with ageing. There was a significant decrease in oviposition success in individuals carrying Wolbachia. Wolbachia infection and storage time significantly increased egg collapse parameter on the egg viability assay, while DENV-1 had a slight protective effect on the first four weeks of storage. (4) Conclusions: Despite limitations, our results contribute to better understanding of the tripartite interaction of virus, bacteria and mosquito that may take place in field conditions and aid in guaranteeing the Wolbachia strategy success.

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