From: Colorado State University
Published May 19, 2017 10:08 AM

Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus could simultaneously transmit other viruses

A new study led by Colorado State University researchers found that Aedes aegypti, the primary mosquito that carries Zika virus, might also transmit chikungunya and dengue viruses with one bite. The findings shed new light on what’s known as a coinfection, which scientists said is not yet fully understood and may be fairly common in areas experiencing outbreaks.

“A mosquito, in theory, could give you multiple viruses at once,” said Claudia Ruckert, post-doctoral researcher in CSU’s Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory.

Ruckert presented initial findings from the study last fall at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene in Atlanta, Georgia. The research team’s paper was published May 19 in Nature Communications.

The CSU team infected mosquitoes in the lab with multiple kinds of viruses to learn more about the transmission of more than one infection from a single mosquito bite. While they described the lab results as surprising, researchers said there’s no reason to believe that these coinfections are more severe than being infected with one virus at a time. Existing research on coinfections is sparse, and the findings are contradictory.

Read more at Colorado State University

Image: Researchers at Colorado State University infected mosquitoes in the lab with multiple kinds of viruses to learn more about the transmission of more than one infection from a single mosquito bite. (Credit: John Eisele/CSU Photography)

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