Mayaro Virus Infection Elicits an Innate Immune Response and Represses Autophagy in Anopheles stephensi


Cory Henderson, Marco Brustolin, Shivanand Hegde, Grant L. Hughes, Christina Bergey, Jason L. Rasgon


Mayaro virus (MAYV) is an arboviral pathogen in the genus Alphavirus that is circulating in South America with potential to spread to naïve regions. MAYV is also one of the few viruses with the ability to be transmitted by mosquitoes in the genus Anopheles in addition to the typical arbovirus transmitting mosquitoes in the genus Aedes. Few studies have investigated the infection response of Anopheles mosquitoes to arboviruses. In this study we detail the transcriptomic and small RNA responses of An. stephensi to infection with MAYV via infectious bloodmeal at 2, 7, and 14 days post infection (dpi). 487 unique transcripts were significantly regulated and 79 novel miRNAs were identified. Gene ontology analysis of transcripts regulated at each timepoint suggested activation of the Toll pathway at 7 dpi and repression of pathways related to autophagy at 14 dpi. These findings provide a basic understanding of the infection response of An. stephensi to MAYV and help to identify host factors which might be useful to target to inhibit viral replication in Anopheles mosquitoes.

Research Themes:

3. Pathogen and Vector Biology