BACKGROUND:Dengue viruses (DENV) can be transmitted from an adult female Aedes aegypti mosquito through the germ line to the progeny; however, there is uncertainty if this occurs at a frequency that is epidemiologically significant. We measured vertical transmission of DENV from field-reared Ae. aegypti to their F1 progeny after feeding upon blood from dengue patients. We also examined the transmission potential of F1 females. METHODS:We examined the frequency of vertical transmission in field-reared mosquitoes, who fed upon blood from acutely viremic dengue patients, and the capacity for vertically infected females to subsequently transmit virus horizontally, in two sets of experiments: (i) compared vertical transmission frequency of field-reared Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, in individual progeny; and (ii) in pooled progeny derived from field- and laboratory-reared Ae. aegypti. RESULTS:Of 41 DENV-infected and isofemaled females who laid eggs, only a single female (2.43%) transmitted virus to one of the F1 progeny, but this F1 female did not have detectable virus in the saliva when 14 days-old. We complemented this initial study by testing for vertical transmission in another 460 field-reared females and > 900 laboratory-reared counterparts but failed to provide any further evidence of vertical virus transmission. CONCLUSIONS:In summary, these results using field-reared mosquitoes and viremic blood from dengue cases suggest that vertical transmission is uncommon. Field-based studies that build on these observations are needed to better define the contribution of vertical DENV transmission to dengue epidemiology.
Parasites & vectors
Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.