Abstract

In an examination of the molecular basis of oral transmission of bunyaviruses by mosquitoes., La Crosse (LAC), snowshoe hare (SSH), and LAC-SSH reassortant viruses were compared in their ability to be transmitted to laboratory mice by the natural mosquito vector of LAC virus, Aedes triseriatus. Both LAC virus and the reassortment viruses containing the middle-sized (M) segment from the LAC parent were efficiently transmitted. In contrast, SSH virus and reassortment viruses containing the M RNA from the SSH parent were inefficiently transmitted. Thus, the M RNA segment, which codes for the virion glycoproteins, may be a major determinant of oral transmission of bunyaviruses by mosquitoes.