Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) recently emerged as a global threat to public health through its adaptation to the cosmopolitan mosquito Aedes albopictus Skuse. Aedes albopictus is highly susceptible to the emergent strain of CHIKV, relative to the historical vector of CHIKV, Aedes aegypti (L.). We hypothesized that the high susceptibility of Ae. albopictus to CHIKV may have a cost in terms of longevity and fecundity among infected vs non-infected mosquitoes, relative to Ae. aegypti. We performed a longevity experiment comparing Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus exposed to the emergent strain of CHIKV (LR-2006OPY1). We found a small but significant decrease in longevity of Ae. albopictus, but not Ae. aegypti, in response to exposure to CHIKV. We did not observe significant differences in numbers of eggs laid by either species in response to exposure. Longevity and body titer of infected Ae. albopictus were significantly negatively correlated, such that individuals that lived longer had lower viral body titers when they died. The cost of exposure, while not high, suggests there may be physiological constraints in the evolution of viral infectiousness in its insect vector.
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