Spondweni virus causes fetal harm in Ifnar1−/− mice and is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Anna S. Jaeger, Andrea M. Weiler, Ryan V. Moriarty, Sierra Rybarczyk, Shelby L. O'Connor, David H. O'Connor, Davis M. Seelig, Michael K. Fritsch, Thomas C. Friedrich, Matthew T. Aliota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Spondweni virus (SPONV) is the most closely related known flavivirus to Zika virus (ZIKV). Its pathogenic potential and vector specificity have not been well defined. SPONV has been found predominantly in Africa, but was recently detected in a pool of Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes in Haiti. Here we show that SPONV can cause significant fetal harm, including demise, comparable to ZIKV, in a mouse model of vertical transmission. Following maternal inoculation, we detected infectious SPONV in placentas and fetuses, along with significant fetal and placental histopathology, together suggesting vertical transmission. To test vector competence, we exposed Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes to SPONV-infected bloodmeals. Aedes aegypti could efficiently transmit SPONV, whereas Culex quinquefasciatus could not. Our results suggest that SPONV has the same features that made ZIKV a public health risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalVirology
Volume547
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities BSL3 Program for facilities and Neal Heuss for support. We thank Natalie Benett for her contribution in mosquito maintenance, and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Comparative Pathology Shared Resource for preparation of histological sections. Funding for this project came from DHHS/PHS/NIH R21AI131454 and R01AI132563 to M.T.A. The publication's contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NCRR or NIH.

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the University of Minnesota , Twin Cities BSL3 Program for facilities and Neal Heuss for support. We thank Natalie Benett for her contribution in mosquito maintenance, and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Comparative Pathology Shared Resource for preparation of histological sections. Funding for this project came from DHHS / PHS / NIH R21AI131454 and R01AI132563 to M.T.A. The publication’s contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NCRR or NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Aedes aegypti
  • Arbovirus
  • Congenital zika syndrome
  • Flavivirus
  • Spondweni virus
  • Vector competence
  • Zika virus

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Spondweni virus causes fetal harm in Ifnar1<sup>−/−</sup> mice and is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this