Replication of Alphaviruses in Mosquito Cells

  • Dennis T. Brown
  • Lynn D. Condreay
Part of the The Viruses book series (VIRS)


The alphaviruses are members of a group of infectious agents once referred to as “arboviruses” (arthropod-borne viruses). Although alphaviruses are clearly identified as agents of human and animal disease, the term arbovirus recognizes the active roles of invertebrates in the natural life cycle of these viruses. Alphaviruses are perpetuated in the wild, in part, through an interplay between insect and vertebrate hosts and are transmitted to vertebrates by the bite of infected arthropods, usually mosquitos or ticks. The use of the term “insect vector” to describe the invertebrate counterpart implies a reduced importance, or possibly passive role, of the insect in the transmission of these agents to vertebrates. It is very clear today that active replication of alphaviruses in the invertebrate is essential to the perpetuation of the virus in nature. Furthermore, it now appears that the constant participation of the vertebrate host may not be essential for the maintenance of these viruses in the wild. Evidence strongly suggests that alphaviruses (as well as other insect-borne viruses) are transmitted vertically (transovarially) from generation to generation (for a review, see Leake, 1984).


Insect Cell Semliki Forest Virus Vertebrate Cell Sindbis Virus Mosquito Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis T. Brown
    • 1
  • Lynn D. Condreay
    • 1
  1. 1.Cell Research Institute and Department of MicrobiologyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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