Navigation Links
Earlier bites by uninfected mosquitoes boost West Nile deaths in lab mice

GALVESTON, Texas Theres one more reason to try to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, scientists have discovered: bites from mosquitoes that arent infected by the West Nile virus may make the disease worse in people who acquire it later from West Nile-infected mosquitoes.

Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) announced their discovery in a paper published online by the journal PLoS ONE. In the paper, they describe experiments showing that lab mice on which mosquitoes have previously fed are far more likely to die from West Nile infection than are mice unexposed to such mosquito bites.

The effect is induced by mosquito saliva, according to UTMB professor Stephen Higgs, one of the papers senior authors.

This virus is transmitted from mosquitoes in saliva, and wed already demonstrated that mosquito saliva has an effect on the vertebrate immune system that makes West Nile infection worse, Higgs said. What this new work shows is that the saliva delivered by even earlier feedings can also alter the course of the infection. This is important, because in natural situations in many parts of the world Southeast Texas, for example animals and some people are being exposed to mosquito feeding almost continuously.

In their experiments, researchers exposed sedated mice to feeding by between 15 and 20 Aedes aegypti mosquitoes for an hour once a week. Scientists then allowed a single West Nile virus-infected mosquito to feed once on each of these mice and also on each of a control group of mice that were previously unbitten by mosquitoes.

The results were striking: 68 percent of mice exposed to two weekly mosquito feedings died of West Nile virus, and those exposed to four weekly mosquito feedings suffered a 91 percent mortality rate. By contrast, the virus killed only 27 percent of the mice previously unexposed to saliva from mosquitoes that were free of West Nile infection. Analyses of responses of the mouse immune systems also showed a strong contrast between the previously exposed and unexposed mice.

When we examined the immune reactions, one that stood out was an increase in the immune signaling molecule interleukin-10, said Brad Schneider, the papers lead author and a UTMB alumnus who is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. This host response to the saliva of the mosquito causes a shift in the immune response at the site where the virus first contacts the host, and the virus takes advantage of this shift.

The UTMB researchers were surprised to find that mosquito bites seemed to have a detrimental effect with West Nile virus, because multiple earlier bites from other uninfected arthropods can actually protect against the parasites and bacteria carried by them. Previous work has clearly indicated that pre-exposure to the bites of uninfected sand flies has a protective effect for mice against cutaneous leishmaniasis, said Dr. Lynn Soong, the papers other senior author and an immunologist who works on the sand fly-transmitted protozoan parasite infection, dubbed Baghdad boil by American troops in the Middle East.

Since this goes against the work weve seen with both bacteria and parasites, we definitely didnt expect this result, Schneider said. But when we stood back and looked at it, it made sense. For a parasite or bacterium, the influx of immune cells brought in by this inflammatory response would be negative, but with the West Nile virus, youre just giving it more susceptible cells to infect.

Both Higgs and Schneider emphasized that the mouse experiments offered no definitive answers to the question of human responses to West Nile. This is a mouse model, but thats the best weve got at the moment, Higgs said. The thing is, it suggests that there may be yet another reason to avoid mosquitoes, to tidy up your yard and wear mosquito repellant.


Contact: Jim Kelly
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Related biology news :

1. New molecular clock from LLNL and CDC indicates smallpox evolved earlier than believed
2. Researchers detect hint of oxygen 50 to 100 million years earlier than first believed
3. Green tea boosts production of detox enzymes, rendering cancerous chemicals harmless
4. Rutgers high school outreach gets $3 million boost from NSF
5. Breast cancer research and inkjet tissue printing get NSF boost
6. Breastfeeding boost IQ in infants with helpful genetic variant
7. Small-scale fishing in Mexico rivals industrial fisheries in accidental turtle deaths
Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/20/2017)... WASHINGTON , July 20, 2017 Delta (NYSE: ... to board any Delta aircraft at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). ... Delta launches biometrics ... Delta,s ... Delta Sky Club is now integrated into the boarding process to ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ITHACA, N.Y. , June 23, 2017 ... a leader in dairy research, today announced a new ... help reduce the chances that the global milk supply ... this dairy project, Cornell University has become the newest ... Food Supply Chain, a food safety initiative that includes ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor sense evaluation of lower ... . The first 30 robots will be available from June in ... The technology was developed and patented at the IIT laboratories and has ... to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur Sergio Dompè. ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At its national ... Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of Minnesota-based ... selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER Labs ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first ... eye at a time. So which eye do you rinse first if a dangerous substance ... Plum Duo Eye Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ... hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with ... adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... HILLS, Calif. , Oct. 11, 2017  SkylineDx today ... (ICR) and University of Leeds ... risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma (MM), in a multi-centric Phase ... University of Leeds is the sponsor ... and ICR will perform the testing services to include high-risk ...
Breaking Biology Technology: