Arboviruses and Insect Vectors

ANNA-BELLA FAILLOUX Lab

 

The laboratory “Arboviruses and Insect Vectors” has been transformed into a Unit of Research and Expertise (URE) – Network on November 1st 2014 in the Department of Virology at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Dr Anna-Bella Failloux is the leader of this unit.

 

In this context, our unit has set some of its objectives of research with the support of the International Network of Institut Pasteur (INIP). This global network of 32 institutes on 5 continents is uniquely positioned to play a major role both in furthering our understanding of vector borne diseases and the challenge of controlling them. Our unit relies on the field experience offered by our collaborators within the INIP to anchor our projects and multiple trips between the field and laboratory are necessary in order to test hypotheses and direct future research.

 

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The research developed in our unit “Arboviruses and Insect vectors” aims to understand the potential of arboviruses to emerge by dissecting the vectorial system of different combinations of viruses/blood-feeding insects.

 

Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are transmitted among vertebrate hosts by hematophagous arthropod vectors such as mosquitoes. Vertebrates are “blood-sources” required by this kind of arthropods to complete their life cycle. Blood providing nutrients for ovogenesis, females must feed on host to be able to mature their eggs. In the course of this blood-meal, saliva is injected and transmission of the pathogen to the vertebrate can occur if infectious particles are present in saliva. Blood-feeding arthropods may feed several times during their life span and can ingest genetically distinct variants of a given virus species playing a key role in generating and maintaining genetic diversity and in selecting genotypes involved in epidemics.