Zika virus is a newly emergent mosquito-borne flavivirus that has caused recent large outbreaks in the new world, leading to dramatic increases in serious disease pathology including Guillain-Barre syndrome, newborn microcephaly, and infant brain damage. Although Aedes mosquitoes are thought to be the primary mosquito species driving infection, the virus has been isolated from dozens of mosquito species, including Culex and Anopheles species, and we lack a thorough understanding of which mosquito species to target for vector control. We exposed Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles stephensi, and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes to blood meals supplemented with two Zika virus strains. Mosquito bodies, legs, and saliva were collected five, seven, and 14 days post blood meal and tested for infectious virus by plaque assay. Regardless of titer, virus strain, or timepoint, Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles stephensi, and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes were refractory to Zika virus infection. We conclude that Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles stephensi, and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes likely do not contribute significantly to Zika virus transmission to humans. However, future studies should continue to explore the potential for other novel potential vectors to transmit the virus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)