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Broad Dengue Neutralization in Mosquitoes Expressing an Engineered Antibody

By Anna B. Buchman, Stephanie Gamez, Ming Li, Igor Antoshechkin, Shin-Hang Lee, Shin-Wei Wang, Chun-Hong Chen, Melissa J Klein, Jean-Bernard Duchemin, James E. Crowe, Prasad N. Paradkar, Omar S Akbari

Posted 24 May 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/645481 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008103)

With dengue virus (DENV) becoming endemic in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, there is a pressing global demand for effective strategies to control the mosquitoes that spread this disease. Recent advances in genetic engineering technologies have made it possible to create mosquitoes with reduced vector competence, limiting their ability to acquire and transmit pathogens. Here we describe the development of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes synthetically engineered to impede vector competence to DENV. These mosquitoes express a gene encoding an engineered single-chain variable fragment derived from a broadly neutralizing DENV human monoclonal antibody and have significantly reduced viral infection, dissemination, and transmission rates for all four major antigenically distinct DENV serotypes. Importantly, this is the first engineered approach that targets all DENV serotypes, which is crucial for effective disease suppression. These results provide a compelling route for developing effective genetic-based DENV control strategies, which could be extended to curtail other arboviruses.

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