The study, published December 7 in PLoS Pathogens, explains how the virus has increased its ability to infect and be transmitted by the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus.
CHIKV is an emerging arbovirus associated with several recent large-scale epidemics of arthritic disease. The virus has formerly been known to be carried primarily by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. However, a recent epidemic in the Indian Ocean islands suggested that something else was carrying the virus, as Ae. aegypti are not found there. In fact the relative Asian tiger mosquito, Ae. albopictus, was present. This prompted the team, led by Dr. Stephen Higgs, to look further into the virus.
In an earlier study it had been found that the epidemics on islands in the Indian Ocean were associated with a strain of CHIKV with a mutation in the envelope protein gene (E1-A226V). Therefore, the researchers investigated the role of the E1-A226V mutation on the fitness of CHIKV in both types of mosquitoes. The team infected mosquitoes with two genetically-engineered clones of the virus, one with the mutation and the other without.
The team found the mutant virus out-competed the other virus with respect to transmission by the tiger mosquito. This proved that EI-A226V is directly responsible for CHIKV adaptation to the Asian tiger mosquito, explaining why the virus was found in an area which lacks the typical vector mosquito.
The Asian tiger mosquito is present in many countries. Both mosquito species are currently present in the U.S. and the Asian tiger mosquito is spreading in Europe. The findings suggest that, especially with the global climate warming, CHIKV could expand to new geographic locations.
CITATION: Tsetsarkin KA, Vanlandingham DL, McGee CE, Higgs S (2007) A single mutation in Chikungunya virus affects vector specificity and epidemic potential. PLoS Pathog 3(12): e201. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.0030201
Andrew Hyde | alfa
Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel
06.08.2020 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Tellurium makes the difference
06.08.2020 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences