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
World’s Largest Study on Allergic Rhinitis Reveals new Risk Genes
17.07.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Plant mothers talk to their embryos via the hormone auxin
17.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering