Table_4_Expression Profile of Glossina pallidipes MicroRNAs During Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Infection With Glossina pallidipes Salivary Gland Hypertrophy Virus (Hytrosavirus).XLSX

The Glossina pallidipes salivary gland hypertrophy virus (GpSGHV) infects tsetse flies predominantly asymptomatically and occasionally symptomatically. Symptomatic infections are characterized by overt salivary gland hypertrophy (SGH) in mass reared tsetse flies, which causes reproductive dysfunctions and colony collapse, thus hindering tsetse control via sterile insect technique (SIT). Asymptomatic infections have no apparent cost to the fly’s fitness. Here, small RNAs were sequenced and profiles in asymptomatically and symptomatically infected G. pallidipes flies determined. Thirty-eight host-encoded microRNAs (miRNAs) were present in both the asymptomatic and symptomatic fly profiles, while nine host miRNAs were expressed specifically in asymptomatic flies versus 10 in symptomatic flies. Of the shared 38 miRNAs, 15 were differentially expressed when comparing asymptomatic with symptomatic flies. The most up-regulated host miRNAs in symptomatic flies was predicted to target immune-related mRNAs of the host. Six GpSGHV-encoded miRNAs were identified, of which five of them were only in symptomatic flies. These virus-encoded miRNAs may not only target host immune genes but may also participate in viral immune evasion. This evidence of differential host miRNA profile in Glossina in symptomatic flies advances our understanding of the GpSGHV-Glossina interactions and provides potential new avenues, for instance by utilization of particular miRNA inhibitors or mimics to better manage GpSGHV infections in tsetse mass-rearing facilities, a prerequisite for successful SIT implementation.