Dengue virus dominates lipid metabolism modulations in Wolbachia-coinfected Aedes aegypti

Cassandra Koh, M. Nurul Islam, Yixin H. Ye, Nunya Chotiwan, Barbara Graham, John T. Belisle, Konstantinos A. Kouremenos, Saravanan Dayalan, Dedreia L. Tull, Stephan Klatt, Rushika Perera, Elizabeth A. McGraw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Competition between viruses and Wolbachia for host lipids is a proposed mechanism of Wolbachia-mediated virus blocking in insects. Yet, the metabolomic interaction between virus and symbiont within the mosquito has not been clearly defined. We compare the lipid profiles of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes bearing mono- or dual-infections of the Wolbachia wMel strain and dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV3). We found metabolic signatures of infection-induced intracellular events but little evidence to support direct competition between Wolbachia and virus for host lipids. Lipid profiles of dual-infected mosquitoes resemble those of DENV3 mono-infected mosquitoes, suggesting virus-driven modulation dominates over that of Wolbachia. Interestingly, knockdown of key metabolic enzymes suggests cardiolipins are host factors for DENV3 and Wolbachia replication. These findings define the Wolbachia-DENV3 metabolic interaction as indirectly antagonistic, rather than directly competitive, and reveal new research avenues with respect to mosquito × virus interactions at the molecular level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number518
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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