Arboviral bottlenecks and challenges to maintaining diversity and fitness during mosquito transmission

Naomi L. Forrester, Lark L. Coffey, Scott C. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The term arbovirus denotes viruses that are transmitted by arthropods, such as ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting arthropods. The infection of these vectors produces a certain set of evolutionary pressures on the virus; involving migration from the midgut, where the blood meal containing the virus is processed, to the salivary glands, in order to transmit the virus to the next host. During this process the virus is subject to numerous bottlenecks, stochastic events that significantly reduce the number of viral particles that are able to infect the next stage. This article reviews the latest research on the bottlenecks that occur in arboviruses and the way in which these affect the evolution and fitness of these viruses. In particular we focus on the latest research on three important arboviruses, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and Chikungunya viruses and compare the differing effects of the mosquito bottlenecks on these viruses as well as other evolutionary pressures that affect their evolution and transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3991-4004
Number of pages14
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 23 2014


  • Arboviruses
  • Bottlenecks
  • Chikungunya virus
  • Evolution
  • Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus
  • Viral fitness
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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