Mosquito-borne viruses and suppressors of invertebrate antiviral RNA silencing. Academic Article uri icon


  • The natural maintenance cycles of many mosquito-borne viruses require establishment of persistent non-lethal infections in the invertebrate host. While the mechanisms by which this occurs are not well understood, antiviral responses directed by small RNAs are important in modulating the pathogenesis of viral infections in disease vector mosquitoes. In yet another example of an evolutionary arms race between host and pathogen, some plant and insect viruses have evolved to encode suppressors of RNA silencing (VSRs). Whether or not mosquito-borne viral pathogens encode VSRs has been the subject of debate. While at first there would seem to be little evolutionary benefit to mosquito-borne viruses encoding proteins or sequences that strongly interfere with RNA silencing, we present here a model explaining how the expression of VSRs by these viruses in the vector might be compatible with the establishment of persistence. We also discuss the challenges associated with interrogating these viruses for the presence of suppressor proteins or sequences, as well as the candidates that have been identified in the genomes of mosquito-borne pathogens thus far.

published proceedings

  • Viruses

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • O'Neal, S. T., Samuel, G. H., Adelman, Z. N., & Myles, K. M.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • O'Neal, Scott T||Samuel, Glady Hazitha||Adelman, Zach N||Myles, Kevin M

publication date

  • January 2014