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Developing a Vaccine to Block West Nile Virus Transmission: In Silico Studies, Molecular Characterization, Expression, and Blocking Activity of Culex pipiens mosGCTL-1

Abstract : Background: Mosquito galactose-specific C-type lectins (mosGCTLs), such as mosGCTL-1, act as ligands to facilitate the invasion of flaviviruses like West Nile virus (WNV). WNV interacts with the mosGCTL-1 of Aedes aegypti (Culicidae) and facilitates the invasion of this virus. Nevertheless, there is no data about the role of mosGCTL-1 as a transmission-blocking vaccine candidate in Culex pipiens, the most abundant Culicinae mosquito in temperate regions. Methods: Adult female Cx. pipiens mosquitoes were experimentally infected with a WNV infectious blood meal, and the effect of rabbit anti-rmosGCTL-1 antibodies on virus replication was evaluated. Additionally, in silico studies such as the prediction of protein structure, homology modeling, and molecular interactions were carried out. Results: We showed a 30% blocking activity of Cx. pipiens mosGCTL-1 polyclonal antibodies (compared to the 10% in the control group) with a decrease in infection rates in mosquitoes at day 5 post-infection, suggesting that there may be other proteins in the midgut of Cx. pipiens that could act as cooperative-receptors for WNV. In addition, docking results revealed that WNV binds with high affinity, to the Culex mosquito lectin receptors. Conclusions: Our results do not support the idea that mosGCTL-1 of Cx. pipiens primarily interacts with WNV to promote viral infection, suggesting that other mosGCTLs may act as primary infection factors in Cx. pipiens.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 20, 2021 - 4:03:06 PM
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Hasan Bakhshi, Mehdi Fazlalipour, Javad Dadgar-Pakdel, Sedigheh Zakeri, Abbasali Raz, et al.. Developing a Vaccine to Block West Nile Virus Transmission: In Silico Studies, Molecular Characterization, Expression, and Blocking Activity of Culex pipiens mosGCTL-1. Pathogens, MDPI, 2021, 10 (2), pp.218. ⟨10.3390/pathogens10020218⟩. ⟨pasteur-03323245⟩

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