Variation in vector competence for dengue viruses does not depend on mosquito midgut binding affinity

Jonathan Cox, Heidi E. Brown, Rebeca Rico-Hesse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Dengue virus genotypes of Southeast Asian origin have been associated with higher virulence and transmission compared to other genotypes of serotype 2 (DEN-2). We tested the hypothesis that genetic differences in dengue viruses may result in differential binding to the midgut of the primary vector, Aedes aegypti, resulting in increased transmission or vectorial capacity. Methodology/Principal Finding: Two strains of each of the four DEN-2 genotypes (Southeast Asian, American, Indian, and West African) were tested to determine their binding affinity for mosquito midguts from two distinct populations (Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico and McAllen, Texas, USA). Our previous studies demonstrated that Southeast Asian viruses disseminated up to 65-fold more rapidly in Ae. aegypti from Texas and were therefore more likely to be transmitted to humans. Results shown here demonstrate that viruses from all four genotypes bind to midguts at the same rate, in a titer-dependent manner. In addition, we show population differences when comparing binding affinity for DEN-2 between the Tapachula and McAllen mosquito colonies. Conclusions: If midgut binding potential is the same for all DEN-2 viruses, then viral replication differences in these tissues and throughout the mosquito can thus probably explain the significant differences in dissemination and vector competence. These conclusions differ from the established paradigms to explain mosquito barriers to infection, dissemination, and transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1172
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Variation in vector competence for dengue viruses does not depend on mosquito midgut binding affinity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this