Published on Thu Jun 24 2021

In vitro and in vivo co-infection and super-infection dynamics of Mayaro and Zika viruses in mosquito and vertebrate backgrounds

Brustolin, M., Pujhari, S., Henderson, C. A., Kim, D., Rasgon, J. L.

Co-circulation of multiple arboviruses in the same geographic regions provides impetus to study the impacts of multipleArbovirus infections in a single vector. In Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, co-infection has a negative impact on infection and dissemination rates for Mayaro

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Abstract

Factors related to increasing globalization and climate change have contributed to the simultaneous increase and spread of arboviral diseases. Co-circulation of multiple arboviruses in the same geographic regions provides impetus to study the impacts of multiple arbovirus infections in a single vector. In the present study we describe co-infection and super-infection with Mayaro virus (Family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus) and Zika virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus) in vertebrate cells, mosquito cells, and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to understand the interaction dynamics of these pathogens and effects on viral infection, dissemination and transmission. In Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, co-infection has a negative impact on infection and dissemination rates for Zika virus, but not Mayaro virus, when compared to single infection scenarios, and super-infection of Mayaro virus with a previous Zika virus infection resulted in increased Mayaro virus infection rates. We found that co-infection and super-infection negatively affected Zika viral replication in vertebrate cells (Vero and Huh), resulting in the complete blockage of Zika virus replication in some scenarios. At the cellular level, we demonstrate that single vertebrate and insect cells can be simultaneously infected with Zika and Mayaro viruses. This study highlights the dynamics of arboviral co- and super-infections and emphasizes the importance of considering these dynamics during risk assessment in epidemic areas.