Submitted to: American Society for Virology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2004
Publication Date: July 10, 2004
Citation: Drolet, B.S., Campbell, C.L., Stuart, M.A., Wilson, W.C. 2004. Replication of vesicular stomatitis virus in the biting midge, Culicoides sonorensis [abstract]. American Society for Virology Meeting. Paper No. 13-13.
The biting midge Culicoides sonorensis, a known arboviral insect vector, has been implicated as a possible vector for vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in the western United States. Within a competent insect vector, virus from a meal must be able to penetrate the midgut barrier, infect the midgut epithelium, replicate, and disseminate to the epidemiologically significant organs; salivary glands and eggs. This amplification and dissemination must occur without significant damage to the insect's cells. Infection studies were performed in both Culicoides cell lines and insects to examine the replication of VSV. In vitro, Culicoides cells were susceptible and permissive. VSV infections were productive and persistent resulting in little or no cytopathology or apoptosis. In vivo, RT-PCR, in situ hybridization and electron microscopy revealed that VSV was able to escape the midgut barrier, disseminate quickly and replicate in epithelial, neural and hemolymph cells throughout the insect. This is the first whole body microscopic analysis of the replication of an arthropod-borne virus in this known insect vector.