Mosquito venereal transmission of arboviruses.
Dengue (DEN) is the most prevalent arthropod-borne viral (arboviral) disease in the world; DEN disease incidence has increased dramatically in the last 50 years. Ae. aegypti is the most important vector of DENV to human hosts and the vector remains persistently infected with DENV for life. Understanding interepidemic maintenance of the virus is essential for predicting human risk and targeting control efforts. The presence of the DENV in the male mosquitoes is suggestive that they can initiate a new cycle of infection by venereal transmission to the female mosquito during mating. The successful candidate for this project would investigate the dynamics of male infection with field relevant DENV genotypes and determine if venereally infected females can support disseminated infection and transmit virus to new hosts.