Wolbachia wMel strain-mediated effects on dengue virus vertical transmission from Aedes aegypti to their offspring

K. Duong Thi Hue, D. da Silva Goncalves, V. Tran Thuy, L. Thi Vo, D. Le Thi, N. Vu Tuyet, G. Nguyen Thi, T. Huynh Thi Xuan, N. Nguyen Minh, P. Nguyen Thanh, S. Yacoub and C. P. Simmons,  Parasites and Vectors,  16:308. 2023.

Background Dengue virus serotypes (DENV-1 to -4) can be transmitted vertically in Aedes aegpti mosquitoes. Whether infection with the wMel strain of the endosymbiont Wolbachia can reduce the incidence of vertical transmission of DENV from infected females to their offspring is not well understood. Methods A laboratory colony of Vietnamese Ae. aegypti, both with and without wMel infection, were infected with DENV-1 by intrathoracic injection (IT) to estimate the rate of vertical transmission (VT) of the virus. VT in the DENV-infected mosquitoes was calculated via the infection rate estimation from mosquito pool data using maximum likelihood estimation (MLE). Results In 6047 F1 Vietnamese wild-type Ae. aegypti, the MLE of DENV-1 infection was 1.49 per 1000 mosquitoes (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73–2.74). In 5500 wMel-infected Ae. aegypti, the MLE infection rate was 0 (95% CI 0–0.69). The VT rates between mosquito lines showed a statistically significant difference. Conclusions The results reinforce the view that VT is a rare event in wild-type mosquitoes and that infection with wMel is effective in reducing VT.

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