bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2020‒03‒01
twenty-four papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(2): e0224718
    Machani MG, Ochomo E, Amimo F, Kosgei J, Munga S, Zhou G, Githeko AK, Yan G, Afrane YA.
      BACKGROUND: Understanding the interactions between increased insecticide resistance and resting behaviour patterns of malaria mosquitoes is important for planning of adequate vector control. This study was designed to investigate the resting behavior, host preference and rates of Plasmodium falciparum infection in relation to insecticide resistance of malaria vectors in different ecologies of western Kenya.METHODS: Anopheles mosquito collections were carried out during the dry and rainy seasons in Kisian (lowland site) and Bungoma (highland site), both in western Kenya using pyrethrum spray catches (PSC), mechanical aspiration (Prokopack) for indoor collections, clay pots, pit shelter and Prokopack for outdoor collections. WHO tube bioassay was used to determine levels of phenotypic resistance of indoor and outdoor collected mosquitoes to deltamethrin. PCR-based molecular diagnostics were used for mosquito speciation, genotype for knockdown resistance mutations (1014S and 1014F) and to determine specific host blood meal origins. Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) was used to determine mosquito sporozoite infections.
    RESULTS: Anopheles gambiae s.l. was the most predominant species (75%, n = 2706) followed by An. funestus s.l. (25%, n = 860). An. gambiae s.s hereafter (An. gambiae) accounted for 91% (95% CI: 89-93) and An. arabiensis 8% (95% CI: 6-9) in Bungoma, while in Kisian, An. arabiensis composition was 60% (95% CI: 55-66) and An. gambiae 39% (95% CI: 34-44). The resting densities of An. gambiae s.l and An. funestus were higher indoors than outdoor in both sites (An. gambiae s.l; F1, 655 = 41.928, p < 0.0001, An. funestus; F1, 655 = 36.555, p < 0.0001). The mortality rate for indoor and outdoor resting An. gambiae s.l F1 progeny was 37% (95% CI: 34-39) vs 67% (95% CI: 62-69) respectively in Bungoma. In Kisian, the mortality rate was 67% (95% CI: 61-73) vs 76% (95% CI: 71-80) respectively. The mortality rate for F1 progeny of An. funestus resting indoors in Bungoma was 32% (95% CI: 28-35). The 1014S mutation was only detected in indoor resitng An. arabiensis. Similarly, the 1014F mutation was present only in indoor resting An. gambiae. The sporozoite rates were highest in An. funestus followed by An. gambiae, and An. arabiensis resting indoors at 11% (34/311), 8% (47/618) and 4% (1/27) respectively in Bungoma. Overall, in Bungoma, the sporozoite rate for indoor resting mosquitoes was 9% (82/956) and 4% (8/190) for outdoors. In Kisian, the sporozoite rate was 1% (1/112) for indoor resting An. gambiae. None of the outdoor collected mosquitoes in Kisian tested positive for sporozoite infections (n = 73).
    CONCLUSION: The study reports high indoor resting densities of An. gambiae and An. funestus, insecticide resistance, and persistence of malaria transmission indoors regardless of the use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs). These findings underline the difficulties of controlling malaria vectors resting and biting indoors using the current interventions. Supplemental vector control tools and implementation of sustainable insecticide resistance management strategies are needed in western Kenya.
  2. Parasit Vectors. 2020 Feb 27. 13(1): 103
    Mbanzulu KM, Mboera LEG, Luzolo FK, Wumba R, Misinzo G, Kimera SI.
      BACKGROUND: Mosquito-borne viral infections have in recent years, become a public health threat globally. This review aimed to provide an overview of the ecological and epidemiological profiles of mosquito-borne viral infections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).METHODS: A search of literature was conducted using Google Scholar, PubMed and the WHO website using the following keywords: "Democratic Republic of the Congo", "Zaire", "Belgian Congo" and either of the following: "mosquito-borne virus", "arbovirus", "yellow fever", "dengue", "chikungunya", "West Nile", "Rift Valley fever", "O'nyong'nyong", "Zika", "epidemiology", "ecology", "morbidity", "mortality". Published articles in English or French covering a period between 1912 and October 2018 were reviewed.
    RESULTS: A total of 37 articles were included in the review. The findings indicate that the burden of mosquito-borne viral infections in DRC is increasing over time and space. The north-western, north-eastern, western and central regions have the highest burden of mosquito-borne viral infections compared to south and eastern highland regions. Yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue, Zika, Rift Valley fever, West Nile and O'nyong'nyong have been reported in the country. These mosquito-borne viruses were found circulating in human, wildlife and domestic animals. Yellow fever and chikungunya outbreaks have been frequently reported. Aedes aegypti and Ae. simpsoni were documented as the main vectors of most of the mosquito-borne viral infections. Heavy rains, human movements, forest encroachment and deforestation were identified as drivers of mosquito-borne viruses occurrence in DRC.
    CONCLUSIONS: Mosquito-borne viral infections are becoming common and a serious public health problem in DRC. In the current context of climate change, there is urgent need to improve understanding on ecological and epidemiology of the diseases and strengthen surveillance systems for prompt response to epidemics in DRC.
    Keywords:  Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ecology; Epidemiology; Mosquito-borne viruses
  3. J Med Entomol. 2020 Feb 29. pii: tjaa024. [Epub ahead of print]
    Captain-Esoah M, Kweku Baidoo P, Frempong KK, Adabie-Gomez D, Chabi J, Obuobi D, Kwame Amlalo G, Balungnaa Veriegh F, Donkor M, Asoala V, Behene E, Adjei Boakye D, Dadzie SK.
      Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) is a diurnal feeder that lives in close association with human populations. It is the principal vector of yellow fever, dengue fever and the Zika Virus. Issues of arboviral diseases have been on the ascendency in most countries including Ghana where Aedes mosquito is the main vector of yellow fever. A comparative study of the biting behavior of Ae. aegypti and the identification of subspecies were undertaken using molecular technique. Standard human landing technique was used to collect both indoor and outdoor biting mosquitoes at three zones located in the Upper East (Bolgatanga), Upper West (Nadowli), and Northern (Damongo) Regions of Ghana during the dry and rainy seasons between 0600 and 1800 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). All collected mosquitoes were identified morphologically using taxonomic keys. random amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction was used to categorize Ae. aegypti into subspecies. Adult female Aedes mosquitoes identified formed 62% (n = 1,206) of all female mosquitoes collected. Aedes aegypti 98% and Aedes vittatus 2% were the only Aedes species identified. Bolgatanga recorded the largest number of Ae. aegypti 42%, whereas Nadowli 22% recorded the least. Aedes vittatus was observed in Nadowli. Aedes aegypti exhibited a bimodal biting behavior peaking at 0600-0800 GMT and 1500-1600 h GMT. Molecular findings revealed 69% Ae. aegypti aegypti and 31% Ae. aegypti formosus as the two subspecies (n = 110). This information is important for implementing effective vector control programs in the three regions of the northern Ghana.
    Keywords:   Aedes aegypti ; Biting behavior; Northern Ghana; Yellow Fever Outbreak; molecular identification
  4. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Feb 26. 14(2): e0008073
    Manwill PK, Kalsi M, Wu S, Martinez-Rodriguez EJ, Cheng X, Piermarini PM, Rakotondraibe HL.
      The Aedes aegypti mosquito serves as a major vector for viral diseases, such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika, which are spreading across the globe and threatening public health. In addition to increased vector transmission, the prevalence of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes is also on the rise, thus solidifying the need for new, safe and effective insecticides to control mosquito populations. We recently discovered that cinnamodial, a unique drimane sesquiterpene dialdehyde of the Malagasy medicinal plant Cinnamosma fragrans, exhibited significant larval and adult toxicity to Ae. aegypti and was more efficacious than DEET-the gold standard for insect repellents-at repelling adult female Ae. aegypti from blood feeding. In this study several semi-synthetic analogues of cinnamodial were prepared to probe the structure-activity relationship (SAR) for larvicidal, adulticidal and antifeedant activity against Ae. aegypti. Initial efforts were focused on modification of the dialdehyde functionality to produce more stable active analogues and to understand the importance of the 1,4-dialdehyde and the α,ß-unsaturated carbonyl in the observed bioactivity of cinnamodial against mosquitoes. This study represents the first investigation into the SAR of cinnamodial as an insecticide and antifeedant against the medically important Ae. aegypti mosquito.
  5. Acta Trop. 2020 Feb 20. pii: S0001-706X(19)31832-7. [Epub ahead of print]205 105414
    Assaid N, Mousson L, Moutailler S, Arich S, Akarid K, Monier M, Beck C, Lecollinet S, Failloux AB, Sarih M.
      West Nile virus (WNV) is one of the most widely distributed mosquito-borne viruses in the world. In North Africa, it causes human cases of meningoencephalitis with fatalities in Algeria and in Tunisia, whereas only horses were affected in Morocco. The aims of this study were to detect WNV in mosquitoes and to determine seroprevalence of WNV in Moroccan horses by the detection of IgG antibodies. A total of 1455 mosquitoes belonging to four different species were grouped by collection site, date, and sex with 10 specimens per pool and tested for 38 arboviruses using a high-throughput chip based on the BioMark Dynamic array system. Out of 146 mosquito pools tested, one pool was positive for WNV. This positive pool was confirmed by real time RT-PCR. The serosurvey showed that 33.7% (31/92) of horses were positive for competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) test. The flavivirus-sphere microsphere immnoassay (MIA) test, targeting three flaviviruses (WNV, Usutu virus (USUV) and Tick borne encephalitic virus (TBEV)) showed that 23 sera out of 31 were positive for WNV, two for USUV, two for USUV or WNV, and four for an undetermined flavivirus. Virus neutralization tests with USUV and WNV showed that 28 of 31 sera were positive for WNV and all sera were negative for USUV. This study reports, for the first time, the detection of WNV from Culex pipiens mosquitoes in Morocco and its circulation among horses. This highlights that the detection of arboviruses in mosquitoes could serve as an early warning signal of a viral activity to prevent future outbreaks in animals and humans.
    Keywords:  Culex pipiens; Horses; Mosquito-borne-viruses; RT-PCR; Serological technics; WNV
  6. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 21. pii: E1403. [Epub ahead of print]17(4):
    Drakou K, Nikolaou T, Vasquez M, Petric D, Michaelakis A, Kapranas A, Papatheodoulou A, Koliou M.
      Mosquitoes are vectors of pathogens, causing human and animal diseases. Their ability to adapt and expand worldwide increases spread of mosquito-borne diseases. Climate changes contribute in enhancing these "epidemic conditions". Understanding the effect of weather variables on mosquito seasonality and host searching activity contributes towards risk control of the mosquito-borne disease outbreaks. To enable early detection of Aedes invasive species we developed a surveillance network for both invasive and native mosquitoes at the main point of entry for the first time in Cyprus. Mosquito sampling was carried out for one year (May 2017-June 2018), at bimonthly intervals around Limassol port. Morphological and molecular identification confirmed the presence of 5 species in the study region: Culex. pipiens, Aedes detritus, Ae. caspius, Culiseta longiareolata and Cs. annulata. No invasive Aedes mosquito species were detected. The Pearson's correlation and multiple linear regression were used to compare number of sampled mosquitoes and weather variables for three most numerous species (Cx. pipiens, Ae. detritus and Ae. caspius). The population densities of the most numerous species were highest from February to April. Number of Cx. pipiens (-0.48), Ae. detritus (-0.40) and Ae. caspius (-0.38) specimens sampled was negatively correlated with average daily temperature. Monthly relative humidity showed positive correlation with the numbers of the species sampled, Cx. pipiens (0.66) Ae. detritus (0.68), and Ae. caspius (0.71). Mosquito abundance of Cx. pipiens (0.97) and Ae. detritus (0.98) was strongly correlated to seasonal precipitation as well. Our work is a stepping stone to further stimulate implementation of International Health Regulations and implementation of early warning surveillance system for detection of invasive Aedes mosquitoes, native mosquitoes and arboviruses they may transmit. A network for the surveillance of both invasive and native mosquito species at the main point of entry for the first time in Cyprus was developed. Number of mosquitoes sampled was correlated with weather factors to identify parameters that might predict mosquito activity and species distribution to the prevention of international spread of vector mosquitoes and vector-borne diseases.
    Keywords:  Ae. caspius; Ae. detritus; Aedes invasive species; Cx. pipiens; precipitation; relative humidity; surveillance; temperature
  7. J Med Entomol. 2020 Feb 27. 57(2): 353-368
    Wayadande AC, Backus EA, Noden BH, Ebert T.
      Electropenetrography (EPG) has been used for many years to visualize unseen stylet probing behaviors of plant-feeding piercing-sucking insects, primarily hemipterans. Yet, EPG has not been extensively used with blood-feeding insects. In this study, an AC-DC electropenetrograph with variable input resistors (Ri), i.e., amplifier sensitivities, was used to construct a waveform library for the mosquito arbovirus vector, Aedes aegypti (Linneaus), while feeding on human hands. EPG waveforms representing feeding activities were: 1) electrically characterized, 2) defined by visual observation of biological activities, 3) analyzed for differences in appearance by Ri level and type of applied signal (AC or DC), and 4) quantified. Electrical origins of waveforms were identified from five different Ri levels and AC versus DC. Mosquitoes produced short stylet probes ('bites') that typically contained five waveform families. Behaviors occurred in the following order: surface salivation (waveform family J), stylet penetration through the outer skin (K), penetration of deeper tissues and location of blood vessels/pathway activities (L), active ingestion with engorgement (M), and an unknown behavior that terminated the probe (N). Only K, L, and M were performed by every insect. A kinetogram of conditional probabilities for waveform performance demonstrated plasticity among individuals in L and M, which were alternated. Now that EPG waveforms for mosquito feeding have been defined, EPG can be used as a tool for improved biological understanding of mosquito-borne diseases.
    Keywords:   vector; arbovirus; electropenetrography; pathogen transmission; waveform library
  8. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020 Dec;9(1): 496-504
    Gaye A, Diagne MM, Ndiaye EH, Dior Ndione MH, Faye M, Talla C, Fall G, Ba Y, Diallo D, Dia I, Handschumacher P, Faye O, Sall AA, Diallo M.
      The mesoniviruses (MESOVs) belong to the newly described Mesoniviridae family (Order: Nidovirales). They have never been reported in Senegal until recently during a study in arbovirus emergence with the detection of a new species of MESOV named Dianke virus (DKV) from common mosquitoes from eastern Senegal. Actually, their vector competence for this newly described DKV is unknown. We, therefore, estimated the vector competence of Culex tritaeniorhynchus, Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti, and Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes collected in Senegal for DKV using oral infection. Whole bodies, legs/wings, and saliva samples were tested for DKV by RT-PCR to estimate infection, dissemination, and transmission rates. The infectivity of virus particles in the saliva was confirmed by infecting C6/36 cells. Virus transmission rates were up to 95.45% in Culex tritaeniorhynchus, 28% in Cx. quinquefasciatus and 9.09% in Aedes aegypti. Viral particles in the saliva were confirmed infectious by C6/36 cell culture. An. gambiae was able to disseminate DKV only at 20 days post-infection. This study shows that Culex mosquitoes are more competent than Ae. aegypti for DKV, while Anopheles gambiae is not likely a competent vector.
    Keywords:  Aedes; Anopheles; Culex; Dianke virus; Vector competence
  9. J Med Entomol. 2020 Feb 29. pii: tjaa023. [Epub ahead of print]
    Ahadji-Dabla KM, Romero-Alvarez D, Djègbè I, Amoudji AD, Apétogbo GY, Djouaka R, Oboussoumi K, Aawi A, Atcha-Oubou T, Peterson AT, Ketoh GK.
      Vector control strategies recommended by the World Health Organization are threatened by resistance of Anopheles mosquitoes to insecticides. Information on the distribution of resistant genotypes of malaria vectors is increasingly needed to address the problem. Ten years of published and unpublished data on malaria vector susceptibility/resistance and resistance genes have been collected across Togo. Relationships between the spatial distribution of resistance status and environmental, socio-economic, and landscape features were tested using randomization tests, and calculating Spearman rank and Pearson correlation coefficients between mosquito mortality and different gridded values. Anopheles gambiae sensu lato was resistant to DDT, pyrethroids, and the majority of carbamates and organophosphates. Three sibling species were found (i.e., An. gambiae, Anopheles coluzzii, and Anopheles arabiensis) with four resistance genes, including kdr (L1014F, L1014S, and N1575Y) and ace1 (G119S). The most frequent resistance gene was L1014F. Overall, no association was found between the susceptibility/resistance status and environmental features, suggesting that evolution of resistance may be most closely related to extreme selection from local insecticide use. Nevertheless, further research is necessary for firm conclusions about this lack of association, and the potential role of landscape characteristics such as presence of crops and percentage of tree cover.
    Keywords:  climatic feature; malaria vector; raster data; resistance gene; susceptibility/resistance status
  10. Acta Trop. 2020 Feb 20. pii: S0001-706X(19)31468-8. [Epub ahead of print] 105413
    Multini LC, Wilke ABB, Marrelli MT.
      Kerteszia is a neotropical subgenus of Anopheles composed of 12 species. The species in this subgenus are strongly associated with humid forests rich in epiphytic bromeliads. Forest fragmentation and anthropogenic changes can therefore have a negative impact on the abundance and survival of these mosquito species. Within this subgenus, four species are considered primary vectors of malaria: An. cruzii, An. bellator, An. homunculus and An. neivai. Malaria cases associated with Kerteszia species are often referred to as bromeliad malaria, a type of malaria reported to be endemic in the coastal rainforest of the neotropical region since the end of the nineteenth century. Although the incidence of bromeliad-malaria cases has decreased since the middle of the last century, autochthonous malaria cases continue to be registered every year. The complexity of the epidemiology of bromeliad malaria appears to be increasing as asymptomatic plasmodial infections and transmission of simian Plasmodium to humans have recently been reported. Kerteszia vector species have a great affinity for human beings and can be found in human-modified areas close to forest fragments such as in the Extra-Amazonian region of Brazil, Colombian pacific coast, and the Caribbean coast. Deforestation and forest fragmentation have been occurring continuously in the biomes of the neotropical region, and findings of Kerteszia species in dwellings are frequent in this region. Controlling the species in the Kerteszia subgenus is particularly difficult because they move frequently from natural to rural and peri-urban areas in search of blood sources, posing a challenge for the development of control strategies based on integrated vector management. Furthermore, as it has been shown that some Kerteszia species share similar morphological and genetic characteristics, the existence of a species complex formed by cryptic, sibling species within the Kerteszia group in different areas in the South and Southeast of Brazil cannot be ruled out. The existence of such a complex could represent an obstacle to the control of Kerteszia species and consequently to the elimination of bromeliad-malaria transmission in these regions. Here, we review publications that focus on the biology and ecology of Kerteszia malaria vectors and their association with human-modified areas and bromeliad-malaria transmission.
    Keywords:  Anopheles cruzii; Anthropogenic changes; Forest fragmentation; Malaria transmission; Malaria vectors
  11. Waste Manag. 2020 Feb 19. pii: S0956-053X(20)30057-X. [Epub ahead of print]105 223-232
    Cruvinel VRN, Zolnikov TR, Takashi Obara M, Oliveira VTL, Vianna EN, Santos FSGD, Oliveira KC, Scott JA.
      Solid waste management is a challenge in developing countries. The Structural dump in Brasilia, Brazil, was the largest Latin American open-air dump until its closure in 2018. Thus, this study sought to investigate the prevalence of self-reported dengue, Zika and Chikungunya arbovirus infections in waste pickers who worked at the dumpsite and assess its association with the sanitary conditions in their residences and workplaces. This research used a mixed methods study using a questionnaire for the quantitative method and semi-structured interviews for the qualitative portion. A cross-sectional, observational, epidemiological study along with a phenomenological study were carried out to characterize socio environmental, occupational and health-related aspects to vector-borne diseases in Structural dumpsite in Brazil. Of the 1,025 respondents, 301 (29.2%) reported to have gotten sick from dengue, Zika or chikungunya fevers. We found significant associations between place of residence of waste pickers (p = 0,003) and the work conditions, use of personal protective equipment (p < 0.001) and weekly workload (p = 0.04) and occurrence of vector-borne disease. Results were confirmed by qualitative data and geo-referencing, in relation to location of their homes and proximity to the dumpsite, as well as through the vulnerability due to their working conditions. This research confirms that waste pickers are highly susceptible to vector-borne diseases; this situation that needs to be immediately addressed by interdisciplinary and intersectoral approaches in waste management and public health. This information confirms vulnerability of waste pickers to diseases transmitted by Ae. aegypti mosquito as a result of sanitary conditions at their residence and workplace.
    Keywords:  Arbovirus infections, waterborne diseases; Dengue fever; Garbage; Occupational health; Social conditions
  12. Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 24. 10(1): 3300
    Wang J, Murphy EJ, Nix JC, Jones DNM.
      Aedes aegypti is the primary vector for transmission of Dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses. Previously it was shown that Dengue virus infection of the mosquito led to an in increased expression of the odorant binding protein 22 (AeOBP22) within the mosquito salivary gland and that siRNA mediated knockdown of AeOBP22 led to reduced mosquito feeding behaviors. Insect OBPs are implicated in the perception, storage and transport of chemosensory signaling molecules including air-borne odorants and pheromones. AeOBP22 is unusual as it is additionally expressed in multiple tissues, including the antenna, the male reproductive glands and is transferred to females during reproduction, indicating multiple roles in the mosquito life cycle. However, it is unclear what role it plays in these tissues and what ligands it interacts with. Here we present solution and X-ray crystallographic studies that indicate a potential role of AeOBP22 binding to fatty acids, and that the specificity for longer chain fatty acids is regulated by a conformational change in the C-terminal tail that leads to creation of an enlarged binding cavity that enhances binding affinity. This study sheds light onto the native ligands for AeOBP22 and provides insight into its potential functions in different tissues.
  13. Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 25. 10(1): 3352
    Saab SA, Dohna HZ, Nilsson LKJ, Onorati P, Nakhleh J, Terenius O, Osta MA.
      The midgut microbiota of disease vectors plays a critical role in the successful transmission of human pathogens. The environment influences the microbiota composition; however, the relative mosquito-species contribution has not been rigorously disentangled from the environmental contribution to the microbiota structure. Also, the extent to which the microbiota of the adult sugar food source and larval water can predict that of the adult midgut and vice versa is not fully understood. To address these relationships, larvae and adults of Anopheles gambiae and Aedes albopictus were either reared separately or in a co-rearing system, whereby aquatic and adult stages of both species shared the larval water and sugar food source, respectively. Despite being reared under identical conditions, clear intra- and interspecies differences in midgut microbiota-composition were observed across seven cohorts, collected at different time points over a period of eight months. Fitting a linear model separately for each OTU in the mosquito midgut showed that two OTUs significantly differed between the midguts of the two mosquito species. We also show an effect for the sugar food source and larval water on the adult midgut microbiota. Our findings suggest that the mosquito midgut microbiota is highly dynamic and controlled by multiple factors.
  14. Parasit Vectors. 2020 Feb 28. 13(1): 111
    Keven JB, Artzberger G, Gillies ML, Mbewe RB, Walker ED.
      BACKGROUND: Determination of blood-meal hosts in blood-fed female Anopheles mosquitoes is important for evaluating vectorial capacity of vector populations and assessing effectiveness of vector control measures. Sensitive molecular methods are needed to detect traces of host blood in mosquito samples, to differentiate hosts, and to detect mixed host blood meals. This paper describes a molecular probe-based quantitative PCR for identifying blood-meal hosts in Anopheles malaria vectors from Papua New Guinea.METHODS: TaqMan oligonucleotide probes targeting specific regions of mitochondrial or nuclear DNA of the three primary Anopheles blood-meal hosts, humans, pigs and dogs, were incorporated into a multiplex, quantitative PCR which was optimized for sensitivity and specificity.
    RESULTS: Amplification of serially diluted DNA showed that the quantitative PCR detected as low as 10-5 ng/μl of host DNA. Application to field-collected, blood-fed Anopheles showed that the quantitative PCR identified the vertebrate hosts for 89% (335/375) of mosquitoes whereas only 55% (104/188) of blood-meal samples tested in a conventional PCR were identified. Of the 104 blood-fed Anopheles that were positive in both PCR methods, 16 (15.4%) were identified as mixed blood meals by the quantitative PCR whereas only 3 (2.9%) were mixed blood meals by the conventional PCR.
    CONCLUSIONS: The multiplex quantitative PCR described here is sensitive at detecting low DNA concentration and mixed host DNA in samples and useful for blood-meal analysis of field mosquitoes, in particular mixed-host blood meals.
    Keywords:  Anopheles; Blood meal; Host; Mosquitoes; Multiplex
  15. Curr Opin Insect Sci. 2020 Jan 30. pii: S2214-5745(20)30008-0. [Epub ahead of print]39 42-49
    Minetti C, Ingham VA, Ranson H.
      The spread of insecticide resistance in anopheline mosquitoes is a serious threat to the success of malaria control and prospects of elimination, but the potential impact(s) of insecticide resistance or sublethal insecticide exposure on Plasmodium-Anopheles interactions are poorly understood. Only a few studies have attempted to investigate such interactions, despite their clear epidemiological significance for malaria transmission. This short review provides an update on our understanding of the interactions between insecticide resistance and exposure and Plasmodium development, focusing on the mechanisms which might underpin any interactions, and identifying some key knowledge gaps.
  16. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Feb 24. 14(2): e0008066
    McMillan JR, Armstrong PM, Andreadis TG.
      BACKGROUND: In the northeast United States (U.S.), mosquitoes transmit a number of arboviruses, including eastern equine encephalitis, Jamestown Canyon, and West Nile that pose an annual threat to human and animal health. Local transmission of each arbovirus may be driven by the involvement of multiple mosquito species; however, the specificity of these vector-virus associations has not been fully quantified.METHODOLOGY: We used long-term surveillance data consistently collected over 18 years to evaluate mosquito and arbovirus community composition in the State of Connecticut (CT) based on land cover classifications and mosquito species-specific natural histories using community ecology approaches available in the R package VEGAN. We then used binomial-error generalized linear mixed effects models to quantify species-specific trends in arbovirus detections.
    PRIMARY RESULTS: The composition of mosquito communities throughout CT varied more among sites than among years, with variation in mosquito community composition among sites explained mostly by a forested-to-developed-land-cover gradient. Arboviral communities varied equally among sites and years, and only developed and forested wetland land cover classifications were associated with the composition of arbovirus detections among sites. Overall, the avian host arboviruses, mainly West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis, displayed the most specific associations among mosquito species and sites, while in contrast, the mammalian host arboviruses (including Cache Valley, Jamestown Canyon, and Potosi) associated with a more diverse mix of mosquito species and were widely distributed throughout CT.
    CONCLUSIONS: We find that avian arboviruses act as vector specialists infecting a few key mosquito species that associate with discrete habitats, while mammalian arboviruses are largely vector generalists infecting a wide diversity of mosquito species and habitats in the region. These distinctions have important implications for the design and implementation of mosquito and arbovirus surveillance programs as well as mosquito control efforts.
  17. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Feb 24.
    Cao Y, Cotter C, Wang W, Liu Y, Zhou H, Zhu G, Cao J.
      As China moves to the prevention of reestablishment of malaria, maintaining skills for malaria in county personnel on the "1-3-7" surveillance and response strategy is critical. China's "1-3-7" strategy defines targets used to guide and monitor malaria case reporting, investigation, and response, respectively: reporting of malaria cases within 1 day, their confirmation and investigation within 3 days, and the appropriate public health response to prevent further transmission within 7 days. Assessing the knowledge of local CDC malaria personnel on the "1-3-7" surveillance and response strategy is urgently needed. In June 2016, two different training modules (classroom-style teaching and tabletop exercises) were conducted for 125 CDC staff in Jiangsu Province, China, to determine the effectiveness of the two training modules on CDC staff knowledge and learning of the "1-3-7" strategy. The classroom-style training module just imparted the malaria knowledge to participants through teaching. Tabletop exercises were carried out through discussion-based scenarios using questions and answers on the "1-3-7" strategy. Questionnaires assessing knowledge improvement were designed and administered to personnel responsible for malaria surveillance and response activities, including at baseline and end line. Overall, knowledge of the "1-3-7" strategy for malaria elimination was 63.2% correct at baseline, 70.6% after implementing a classroom-style teaching module (χ2 = 11.20, P = 0.001), and 84.6% after the tabletop exercise module (χ2 = 48.82, P < 0.000). The knowledge of each component of the "1-3-7" strategy improved significantly after the tabletop exercise module. The total proportion of respondents with a high score (greater than or equal to 75%) was 82.7% in the classroom-style module and 95.2% in the tabletop exercise module. The proportion of respondents with a high score significantly increased after tabletop exercises in the stratified demographic groups of men who work at the county CDC level, have a bachelor's degree, hold a professional title as professor or assistant, are aged 31-50 years, and have attained 11-20 years of service with the CDC compared with the classroom-style module. Acceptability of the classroom-style module (78.2%) compared with tabletop exercises (94.4%) by the CDC malaria personnel increased significantly (χ2 = 11.96, P = 0.004). Feedback from participants on the modules suggest the tabletop exercises were an effective training method, which could maintain and improve the knowledge and capacity for malaria surveillance and response in basic CDC level personnel in China.
  18. Yi Chuan. 2020 Feb 20. 42(2): 153-160
    Wei Y, He YL, Zheng XL.
      Mosquito-borne diseases have become an important public health issue of global concern because of their high incidence and transmission rate. As a vector for mosquito-borne diseases, studying the interaction mechanism between mosquitoes and mosquito-borne viruses will help control mosquito-borne diseases. The impaired innate immunity and immune barriers evasion caused by mosquito-borne viruses in mosquitoes pose a potential risk for the persistent infection of the virus in mosquitoes and the outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases. The RNA interference (RNAi) pathway, as a powerful antiviral defense barrier in mosquitoes, can inhibit viral replication and transmission by producing a variety of small RNAs to degrade viral RNA. In this review, we summarize the related studies on the innate immune mechanism against mosquito- borne virus infection in mosquitoes about small interfering RNA (siRNA), microRNA (miRNA), and Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA), aiming to provide a theoretical reference for the prevention and control of mosquito-borne diseases.
    Keywords:  Mosquito; Mosquito-borne viruses; miRNA; piRNA; siRNA
  19. Malar J. 2020 Feb 24. 19(1): 89
    Dahan-Moss Y, Hendershot A, Dhoogra M, Julius H, Zawada J, Kaiser M, Lobo NF, Brooke BD, Koekemoer LL.
      BACKGROUND: Accurate Anopheles species identification is key for effective malaria vector control. Identification primarily depends on morphological analysis of field samples as well as molecular species-specific identifications. During an intra-laboratory assessment (proficiency testing) of the Anopheles funestus group multiplex PCR assay, it was noted that Anopheles arabiensis can be misidentified as Anopheles leesoni, a zoophilic member of the An. funestus group. The aim of this project was, therefore, to ascertain whether other members of the Anopheles gambiae complex can also be misidentified as An. leesoni when using the standard An. funestus multiplex PCR.METHODS: The An. funestus multiplex PCR was used to amplify DNA from An. gambiae complex specimens. These included specimens from the laboratory colonies and field samples from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Amplified DNA from these specimens, using the universal (UV) and An. leesoni species-specific primers (LEES), were sequence analysed. Additionally, An. leesoni DNA was processed through the diagnostic An. gambiae multiplex PCR to determine if this species can be misidentified as a member of the An. gambiae complex.
    RESULTS: Laboratory-colonized as well as field-collected samples of An. arabiensis, An. gambiae, Anopheles merus, Anopheles quadriannulatus, Anopheles coluzzii as well as Anopheles moucheti produced an amplicon of similar size to that of An. leesoni when using an An. funestus multiplex PCR. Sequence analysis confirmed that the UV and LEES primers amplify a segment of the ITS2 region of members of the An. gambiae complex and An. moucheti. The reverse was not true, i.e. the An. gambiae multiplex PCR does not amplify DNA from An. leesoni.
    CONCLUSION: This investigation shows that An. arabiensis, An. gambiae, An. merus, An. quadriannulatus, An. coluzzii and An. moucheti can be misidentified as An. leesoni when using An. funestus multiplex PCR. This shows the importance of identifying specimens using standard morphological dichotomous keys as far as possible prior to the use of appropriate PCR-based identification methods. Should there be doubt concerning field-collected specimens molecularly identified as An. leesoni, the An. gambiae multiplex PCR and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) can be used to eliminate false identifications.
    Keywords:  An. funestus multiplex PCR; Anopheles gambiae multiplex PCR; Anopheles leesoni; Dichotomous keys; Morphology; Species identification
  20. Insect Sci. 2020 Feb 24.
    Ye Z, Liu F, Liu N.
      The southern house mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus relies on its olfactory system to locate the human hosts for blood meals, by which several deadly diseases are transmitted. Olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) housed in the sensilla on the olfactory appendages send their axons into the antennal lobes (ALs), the primary olfactory center in the brain, where the OSNs expressing the same olfactory receptors converge upon the same spherical structures known as glomeruli in the AL. The structure of the antennal lobe, i.e. the spatial organization of the glomeruli, governs the insect's odor identification and discrimination. Drosophila studies have demonstrated the specific connections between receptors and glomeruli based on the 3D structure of the antennal lobe, deepening our understanding of the relationships between glomerular activities and behaviors, but as yet the structure of the Cx. quinquefasciatus antennal lobe remains unknown. We therefore constructed a 3D model of the Cx. quinquefasciatus antennal lobe using nc82 antibody staining, identifying 62 and 44 glomeruli in the female and male mosquito antennal lobe, respectively, with a significant sexual dimorphism in terms of the antennal lobe volume and glomerulus number. These results demonstrate the structural basis of mosquito odor coding and provide a platform for future studies of the mosquito olfactory signal processing mechanism. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  3D-reconstruction; Culex quinquefasciatus; antennal lobe; glomerulus; olfaction
  21. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 21. pii: E1392. [Epub ahead of print]17(4):
    Tran BL, Tseng WC, Chen CC, Liao SY.
      Climate change is regarded as one of the major factors enhancing the transmission intensity of dengue fever. In this study, we estimated the threshold effects of temperature on Aedes mosquito larval index as an early warning tool for dengue prevention. We also investigated the relationship between dengue vector index and dengue epidemics in Taiwan using weekly panel data for 17 counties from January 2012 to May 2019. To achieve our goals, we first applied the panel threshold regression technique to test for threshold effects and determine critical temperature values. Data were then further decomposed into different sets corresponding to different temperature regimes. Finally, negative binomial regression models were applied to assess the non-linear relationship between meteorological factors and Breteau index (BI). At the national level, we found that a 1°C temperature increase caused the expected value of BI to increase by 0.09 units when the temperature is less than 27.21 °C, and by 0.26 units when the temperature is greater than 27.21 °C. At the regional level, the dengue vector index was more sensitive to temperature changes because double threshold effects were found in the southern Taiwan model. For southern Taiwan, as the temperature increased by 1°C, the expected value of BI increased by 0.29, 0.63, and 1.49 units when the average temperature was less than 27.27 °C, between 27.27 and 30.17 °C, and higher than 30.17 °C, respectively. In addition, the effects of precipitation and relative humidity on BI became stronger when the average temperature exceeded the thresholds. Regarding the impacts of climate change on BI, our results showed that the potential effects on BI range from 3.5 to 54.42% under alternative temperature scenarios. By combining threshold regression techniques with count data regression models, this study provides evidence of threshold effects between climate factors and the dengue vector index. The proposed threshold of temperature could be incorporated into the implementation of public health measures and risk prediction to prevent and control dengue fever in the future.
    Keywords:  climate; dengue; negative binomial regression model; threshold effect; vector index
  22. Infect Genet Evol. 2020 Feb 21. pii: S1567-1348(20)30092-7. [Epub ahead of print] 104261
    Zoure AA, Noel G, Sombie A, Somda Z, Badolo A, Francis F.
      The Anopheles gambiae complex is the most important vector for malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa, besides to other vectors such as Anopheles funestus. Malaria vector control must consider specific identification, genetic diversity and population structure of An. gambiae to design vector control strategies. The aim of this study was to determine the distribution of sibling species of the An. gambiae complex according to climatic regions related to cotton-growing or cotton-free areas by using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Secondly, variation in mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI) was used to assess the genetic structure within and between populations from our selected ecological zones. At the sibling species level, in all samples (n = 180), the following proportions of An. coluzzii (65.56%), An. gambiae s.s. (21.11%) and An. arabiensis (3.33%) were found. Hybrids between An. gambiae s.s. and An. coluzzii (7.78%) and hybrids between An. coluzzii and An. arabiensis (2.22%) were found as well. The phylogenetic tree and Integer Neighbour-Joining (IntNJ) haplotype network revealed no distinct genetic structure pattern related to climatic or agricultural conditions in Burkina Faso. The Fst (Wright's F-statistic) values close to zero showed a free gene flow and an absence of differentiation in An. gambiae complex populations. Furthermore, neutrality indices calculated by Tajima's D, Fu and Li's D*, Fu and Li's F*, Fu's Fs tests suggested an excess of rare mutations in the investigated populations. Overall, this study found variations in the proportions of An. gambiae s.s., An. coluzzii and An. arabiensis according to climatic regions but without population structuration by COI of the An. gambiae complex. These results are scientific contributions that can be used as a basis for further in-depth study of the genetic diversity of the An. gambiae complex for epidemiologic risk assessment of malaria in Burkina Faso.
    Keywords:  Anopheles gambiae s.l.; Burkina Faso; COI; Genetic structure; rDNA
  23. Acta Trop. 2020 Feb 20. pii: S0001-706X(19)31480-9. [Epub ahead of print]205 105402
    Monge S, García-Ortúzar V, López Hernández B, Lopaz Pérez MÁ, Delacour-Estrella S, Sánchez-Seco MP, Fernández Martinez B, García San Miguel L, García-Fulgueiras A, Sierra Moros MJ, .
      On October 3rd 2018, dengue virus (DENV) infection was confirmed in three family members (symptoms onset between August 18th and 27th) without travel history outside of Spain. They had been together in the Autonomous Communities (AC) of Murcia and Andalusia. By the end of October, a second cluster of two dengue cases (symptoms onset on September 27th and 30th) was confirmed in the AC of Murcia. DENV type 1 sequence was identical to the first cluster, and the epidemiological link was a visit from a case of the first cluster to a fruit-farm neighboring the small village of residence of the second cluster. The entomological investigation found Aedes albopictus activity in this area although all mosquitoes were PCR-negative for DENV. This is the first autochthonous dengue outbreak identified in Spain. This outbreak highlights challenges to timely detect and respond to DENV transmission and opens questions on dengue dynamics in a non-endemic context.
    Keywords:  Aedes; Autochthonous transmission; Dengue; Dengue virus; Disease outbreaks; Europe; Spain
  24. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Feb 24.
    Cucchiaro G, Van Leeuwen J, Goodridge Y.
      Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Uganda. The role of spatial repellent devices in preventing malaria is controversial. The goal of this study was to evaluate the populations' acceptability of a newly designed insecticide diffuser. We distributed to three families living in southern Uganda a device commercially available, the VAPE® portable set. This spatial repellent device offers several advantages compared with other traditional products. It is powered by lithium batteries that guarantee 20 days of uninterrupted delivery of insecticide; it contains two insecticides: empenthrin and transfluthrin; and it is simple to use, one switch to turn it "on" and/or "off." It is odorless, and it can be placed anywhere in the living/sleeping area. People can also carry it outside the house. We planned to evaluate people's compliance with its usage, its reliability, and its overall costs. We conducted a 5-month survey. We distributed the devices to three households, one device per bedroom. Ten males and 11 females, with a mean age of 26 ± 16 (range 10-51) years, lived in these houses. The compliance with the use of the device and its acceptability were high. No side effects were reported. No individual contracted malaria during the 5-month period. The major obstacle we found was the timely delivery of the devices to the evaluation area and initial compliance with the instructions on how to use the device. Larger randomized studies are needed to clarify whether there is a role for this type of spatial repellent devices in the global efforts to prevent malaria.