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A mosquito salivary protein-driven influx of myeloid cells facilitates flavivirus transmission


Mosquitoes transmit many disease-relevant flaviviruses. Efficient viral transmission to mammalian hosts requires mosquito salivary factors. However, the specific salivary components facilitating viral transmission and their mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. Here, we show that a female mosquito salivary gland-specific protein, here named A. aegypti Neutrophil Recruitment Protein (AaNRP), facilitates the transmission of Zika and dengue viruses. AaNRP promotes a rapid influx of neutrophils, followed by virus-susceptible myeloid cells toward mosquito bite sites, which facilitates establishment of local infection and systemic dissemination. Mechanistically, AaNRP engages TLR1 and TLR4 of skin-resident macrophages and activates MyD88-dependent NF-κB signaling to induce the expression of neutrophil chemoattractants. Inhibition of MyD88-NF-κB signaling with the dietary phytochemical resveratrol reduces AaNRP-mediated enhancement of flavivirus transmission by mosquitoes. These findings exemplify how salivary components can aid viral transmission, and suggest a potential prophylactic target.

Zhaoyang Wang, Kaixiao Nie, Yan Liang, Jichen Niu, Xi Yu, Oujia Zhang, Long Liu, Xiaolu Shi, Yibaina Wang, Xuechun Feng, Yibin Zhu, Penghua Wang, and Gong Cheng

A mosquito salivary protein-driven influx of myeloid cells facilitates 

flavivirus transmission

EMBO J (2024) 43: 1690 - 1721

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