About this Research Topic
Arboviruses are a large group of viruses that are transmitted to vertebrates by arthropods such as ticks and mosquitoes. These vector-transmitted diseases are among the leading causes of mortality and disability in developing countries. Importantly, the last decade has been highlighted by the emergence of several arboviruses in the Western hemisphere. What we have learned in recent decades is that emerging arboviruses have the potential to spread widely and explosively. Conventional vaccines are largely unavailable for arboviruses and development of vaccines targeting flaviviruses has become challenging due to the phenomenon of antibody dependent-enhancement. Arboviruses are transmitted during the arthropod blood feeding process where pathogens are delivered into the skin along with vector saliva. Arboviruses are acquired by uninfected arthropods during blood feeding and infection begins within the arthropod midgut. Successful arboviruses complete this transmission cycle between invertebrate and vertebrate organisms while avoiding distinct physical and immunological barriers. Previous studies have shown that arboviruses have the ability to modify gene and protein expression in the vector as well as the host to ensure infection and transmission success. A number of vector and host proteins have also been implicated in arbovirus acquisition and transmission. Further, studies have shown that antibodies to related viruses and co-infection with a number of insect-specific microorganisms can modify infection.
This research topic seeks to provide an overview of virus-vector-host interactions with an emphasis on how these interactions can be exploited to develop novel strategies to combat human disease.
Keywords: arbovirus, flavivirus, alphavirus, arboviral transmission, arbovirus co-infection, antibody-dependent enhancement, mosquito-borne virus, tick-borne virus
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