Dengue viruses causing severe, hemorrhagic disease have displaced less virulent strains in the Americas during the past three decades. The American (AM) genotype of dengue serotype 2 has been endemic in the Western Hemisphere and South Pacific, causing outbreaks of dengue fever (DF), but has not been linked to dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). The Southeast Asian (SEA) genotype of dengue was introduced into this hemisphere in 1981, has caused outbreaks with numerous cases of DHF, and has displaced the AM genotype in several countries. We investigated the effect of viral genotype on the potential for transmission by infecting Aedes aegypti mosquitoes collected in South Texas with six viruses, representing these two genotypes. Viral replication in the midgut was significantly higher in SEAinfected mosquitoes, and virus-specific proteins could be detected in salivary glands 7 days earlier in SEA- than AM-infected mosquitoes. This much earlier appearance of dengue virus in salivary glands resulted in an estimated 2- to 65-fold increase in the vectorial capacity of these mosquitoes for the viruses that can cause DHF. This may be one of the mechanisms through which more virulent flaviviruses spread and displace others globally.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases