Although dengue is the most prevalent arthropod-borne viral disease in humans, no effective medication or vaccine is presently available. Previous studies suggested that mosquito salivary proteins influence infection by the dengue virus (DENV) in the mammalian host. However, the effects of salivary proteins on DENV replication within the mosquito remain largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the effect of a specific salivary protein (named AaSG34) on DENV serotype 2 (DENV2) replication and transmission. We showed that transcripts of AaSG34 were upregulated in the salivary glands of mosquitoes after a meal of blood infected with DENV2. Transcripts of the dengue viral genome and envelop protein in the salivary glands were significantly diminished after an infectious blood meal when AaSG34 was silenced. The effect of AaSG34 on DENV2 transmission was investigated in Stat1-deficient mice. The intradermal inoculation of infectious mosquito saliva induced hemorrhaging inthe Stat1-deficient mice; however, saliva from the AaSG34-silenced mosquitoes did not induce hemorrhaging, suggesting that AaSG34 enhances DENV2 transmission. This is the first report to demonstrate that the protein AaSG34 promotes DENV2 replication in mosquito salivary glands and enhances the transmission of the virus to the mammalian host.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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