MEM INST OSWALDO CRUZ, RIO DE JANEIRO, FAST TRACK
PAGES: DOI: 10.1590/0074-02760170329 Full paper
First evidence of Zika virus venereal transmission in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Jordam William Pereira-Silva1,2, Valdinete Alves do Nascimento1, Heliana Christy Matos Belchior1, Jéssica Feijó Almeida1,2, Felipe Arley Costa Pessoa1, Felipe Gomes Naveca1, Claudia María Ríos-Velásquez1,+

1Laboratório de Ecologia de Doenças Transmissíveis na Amazônia, Instituto Leônidas e Maria Deane - Fiocruz Amazônia, Manaus, Brazil
2Programa de Pós-Graduação em Condições de Vida e Situações de Saúde na Amazônia, Instituto Leônidas e Maria Deane - Fiocruz Amazônia, Manaus, Brazil

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Zika positive Ae. aegypti males collected in the field suggest that vertical and/or venereal transmission of ZIKV may occur.

OBJECTIVES: This study demonstrated that venereal transmission of ZIKV by Ae. aegypti can occur under laboratory conditions.

METHODS: Ae. aegypti colony was used for the ZIKV venereal transmission. The ZIKV used in this study was isolated from patient presenting symptoms and confirmed by RT-qPCR. Male mosquitoes were intrathoracically inoculated with a ZIKV suspension, and transferred to a cage containing virgin females to copulate. In a second experiment, mosquito females were orally infected with a ZIKV suspension by blood feeding membrane, and then placed in cages with virgin males to copulate. After copulation, all mosquitoes were individually evaluated to viral infection by RT-qPCR.

FINDINGS: Females mated with intrathoracically infected males showed Ct values ranged from 13 to 35, and the mean infection rate in females was 45%. Males mated with orally infected females showed Ct values ranged from 29 to 35, and the mean infection rate in males was 35%.

MAIN CONCLUSION: This study shows that ZIKV infection of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes occurs not only during blood feeding, but also during copulation.

Financial Support: FIOCRUZ, CNPq/CAPES, DECIT/MS (call 14/2016 – Prevenção e Combate ao vírus Zika). JWPS and HCMB received grants from Amazonas State Research Support Foundation (FAPEAM); JFA received a grant from the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); VAN received a grant from ILMD/Fiocruz-AM (PAT-Program).

+ Corresponding author: Claudia María Ríos-Velásquez
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