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Aedes aegypti AgBR1 antibodies modulate early Zika virus infection of mice

Uraki, R., Hastings, A.K., Marin-Lopez, A. et al.

A recent epidemic of Zika virus in the Americas, affecting well over a million people, caused substantial mortality and morbidity, including Guillain-Barre syndrome, microcephaly and other fetal developmental defects1,2. Preventive and therapeutic measures that specifically target the virus are not readily available. The transmission of Zika virus is predominantly mosquito-borne, and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes serve as a key vector for Zika virus3. Here, to identify salivary factors that modulate mosquito-borne Zika virus infection, we focused on antigenic proteins in mice that were repeatedly bitten by mosquitoes and developed antibodies against salivary proteins. Using a yeast surface display screen, we identified five antigenic A. aegypti salivary proteins in mice. Antiserum against one of these five proteins-A. aegypti bacteria-responsive protein 1 (AgBR1)-suppressed early inflammatory responses in the skin of mice bitten by Zika-virus-infected mosquitoes. AgBR1 antiserum also partially protected mice from lethal mosquito-borne-but not needle-injected-Zika virus infection. These data suggest that AgBR1 is a target for the prevention of mosquito-transmitted Zika virus infection.

Citation

Uraki, R., Hastings, A.K., Marin-Lopez, A. et al. "Aedes aegypti AgBR1 antibodies modulate early Zika virus infection of mice" Nature Microbiology (2019): doi: 10.1038/s41564-019-0385-x