Transcriptome comparison of dengue-susceptible and -resistant field derived strains of Colombian Aedes aegypti using RNA-sequencing.
BACKGROUND: Forty percent of the world's population live in areas where they are at risk from dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and dengue shock syndrome. Dengue viruses are transmitted primarily by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. In Cali, Colombia, approximately 30% of field collected Ae. aegypti are naturally refractory to all four dengue serotypes. OBJECTIVES: Use RNA-sequencing to identify those genes that determine refractoriness in feral mosquitoes to dengue. This information can be used in gene editing strategies to reduce dengue transmission. METHODS: We employed a full factorial design, analyzing differential gene expression across time (24, 36 and 48 h post bloodmeal), feeding treatment (blood or blood + dengue-2) and strain (susceptible or refractory). Sequences were aligned to the reference Ae. aegypti genome for identification, assembled to visualize transcript structure, and analyzed for dynamic gene expression changes. A variety of clustering techniques was used to identify the differentially expressed genes. FINDINGS: We identified a subset of genes that likely assist dengue entry and replication in susceptible mosquitoes and contribute to vector competence. MAIN CONCLUSIONS: The differential expression of specific genes by refractory and susceptible mosquitoes could determine the phenotype, and may be used to in gene editing strategies to reduce dengue transmission.