Experimental adaptation of dengue virus 1 to Aedes albopictus mosquitoes by in vivo selection

Rachel Bellone, Sebastian Lequime, Henri Jupille, Giel P. Göertz, Fabien Aubry, Laurence Mousson, Géraldine Piorkowski, Pei Shi Yen, Gaelle Gabiane, Marie Vazeille, Anavaj Sakuntabhai, Gorben P. Pijlman, Xavier de Lamballerie, Louis Lambrechts, Anna Bella Failloux*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In most of the world, Dengue virus (DENV) is mainly transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti while in Europe, Aedes albopictus is responsible for human DENV cases since 2010. Identifying mutations that make DENV more competent for transmission by Ae. albopictus will help to predict emergence of epidemic strains. Ten serial passages in vivo in Ae. albopictus led to select DENV-1 strains with greater infectivity for this vector in vivo and in cultured mosquito cells. These changes were mediated by multiple adaptive mutations in the virus genome, including a mutation at position 10,418 in the DENV 3′UTR within an RNA stem-loop structure involved in subgenomic flavivirus RNA production. Using reverse genetics, we showed that the 10,418 mutation alone does not confer a detectable increase in transmission efficiency in vivo. These results reveal the complex adaptive landscape of DENV transmission by mosquitoes and emphasize the role of epistasis in shaping evolutionary trajectories of DENV variants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18404
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2020


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