Follow up of a robust meta-signature to identify Zika virus infection in Aedes aegypti: another brick in the wall

The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the main vector of several arthropod-borne diseases that have global impacts. In a previous meta-analysis, our group identified a vector gene set containing 110 genes strongly associated with infections of dengue, West Nile and yellow fever viruses. Of these 110 genes, four genes allowed a highly accurate classification of infected status. More recently, a new study of Ae. aegypti infected with Zika virus (ZIKV) was published, providing new data to investigate whether this “infection” gene set is also altered during a ZIKV infection. Our hypothesis is that the infection-associated signature may also serve as a proxy to classify the ZIKV infection in the vector. Raw data associated with the NCBI/BioProject were downloaded and re-analysed. A total of 18 paired-end replicates corresponding to three ZIKV-infected samples and three controls were included in this study. The nMDS technique with a logistic regression was used to obtain the probabilities of belonging to a given class. Thus, to compare both gene sets, we used the area under the curve and performed a comparison using the bootstrap method. Our meta-signature was able to separate the infected mosquitoes from the controls with good predictive power to classify the Zika-infected mosquitoes.