bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2020‒03‒08
twenty-five papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(3): e0229764
    Wang Y, Cheng P, Jiao B, Song X, Wang H, Wang H, Wang H, Huang X, Liu H, Gong M.
      BACKGROUND: To investigate mosquito larval habitats and resistance to common insecticides in areas with high incidence rates of mosquito-borne diseases in Jining, Shandong Province, and to provide a scientific basis for the future prevention and control of mosquito-borne diseases and the rational use of insecticides.METHODS AND RESULTS: From June to September 2018, mosquito habitat characteristics and species compositions in Jintun town were studied through a cross-sectional survey. Larvae and pupae were collected in different habitats using the standard dipping technique. A total of 7,815 mosquitoes, comprising 7 species from 4 genera, were collected. Among them, Culex pipiens pallens (n = 5,336, 68.28%) was the local dominant species and found in all four habitats (rice paddies, irrigation channels, water containers, drainage ditches). There were 1,708 Cx. tritaeniorhynchus (21.85%), 399 Anopheles sinensis (5.11%), 213 Armigeres subalbatus (2.72%), 124 Aedes albopictus (1.59%), and 35 other (Cx. bitaeniorhynchus and Cx. halifaxii) (0.45%) mosquito samples collected. Spearman correlation analysis was employed to evaluate the relationship between larval density and the physicochemical characteristics of the breeding habitat. It was found that the larval density of Cx. tritaeniorhynchus correlated positively with water depth (r = 0.927 p = 0.003), the larval density of An. sinensis correlated positively with dissolved oxygen (DO) (r = 0.775 p = 0.041) and the larval density of Cx. p. pallens correlated positively with ammonia nitrogen (r = 0.527 p = 0.002). Resistance bioassays were carried out on the dominant populations of Cx. p. pallens: mosquitoes presented very high resistance to cypermethrin and deltamethrin, moderate resistance to dichlorvos (DDVP), and low resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), with decreased susceptibility to propoxur.
    CONCLUSION: We showed that mosquito species vary across habitat type and that the mosquito larval density correlated positively with certain physicochemical characteristics in different habitats. In addition, Cx. p. pallens developed different levels of resistance to five insecticides. Vector monitoring should be strengthened after an epidemic, and further research should be conducted to scientifically prevent and kill mosquitoes.
  2. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Mar;14(3): e0008130
    Huang B, Montgomery BL, Adamczyk R, Ehlers G, van den Hurk AF, Warrilow D.
      BACKGROUND: Yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality in humans. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the most important mosquito vectors involved in their transmission. Accurate identification of these species is essential for the implementation of control programs to limit arbovirus transmission, during suspected detections at ports of first entry, to delimit incursions or during presence/absence surveillance programs in regions vulnerable to invasion. We developed and evaluated simple and rapid colorimetric isothermal tests to detect these two mosquito species based on loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) targeting the ribosomal RNA internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1).METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Samples were prepared by homogenizing and heating at 99 oC for 10 min before an aliquot was added to the LAMP reaction. After 40 min incubation at 65 oC, a colour change indicated a positive result. The tests were 100% sensitive and species-specific, and demonstrated a limit of detection comparable with PCR-based detection (TaqMan chemistry). The LAMP assays were able to detect target species for various life stages tested (adult, 1st instar larva, 4th instar larva and pupa), and body components, such as legs, wings and pupal exuviae. Importantly, the LAMP assays could detect Ae. aegypti DNA in mosquitoes stored in Biogents Sentinel traps deployed in the field for 14 d. A single 1st instar Ae. aegypti larva could also be detected in a pool of 1,000 non-target 1st instar Aedes notoscriptus, thus expediting processing of ovitrap collections obtained during presence/absence surveys. A simple syringe-sponge protocol facilitated the concentration and collection of larvae from the ovitrap water post-hatch.
    CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We describe the development of LAMP assays for species identification and demonstrate their direct application for surveillance in different field contexts. The LAMP assays described herein are useful adjuncts to laboratory diagnostic testing or could be employed as standalone tests. Their speed, ease-of-use, low cost and need for minimal equipment and training make the LAMP assays ideal for adoption in low-resource settings without the need to access diagnostic laboratory services.
  3. Infect Dis Poverty. 2020 Mar 02. 9(1): 17
    Xu Y, Zhao LZ, Xu YZ, Gu JB, Wu K, Peng ZQ, Zhou XH, Zhang FC, Chen XG.
      BACKGROUND: Dengue is a re-emerging public health problem and mosquito-borne infectious disease that is transmitted mainly by Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus. Early diagnosis, isolation, and treatment of patients are critical steps for dengue epidemic control, especially to prevent secondary transmission of dengue virus (DENV). However, little is known about defervescent dengue patients as a source of infection.METHODS: This case study describes 1268 dengue patients hospitalized at Guangzhou Eighth People's Hospital from June 2013 to December 2014. The viral loads of each individual were measured using real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus were exposed to blood meal with gradated dengue viral loads to characterize the relationship between viremia in dengue patients and the vector competence of vector mosquitoes.
    RESULTS: The viral numbers in the blood were measured, ranging from 108 to 103 copies/ml from day 1 to day 12 after fever onset. Vector competence analysis of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus indicated that viremia > 104 copies/ml can still infect vector mosquitoes, which implied that the defervescent dengue patients might be a source of infection.
    CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate that some defervescent dengue patients still have sufficient viral load to infect vector mosquitoes. Therefore, the protection against mosquito biting for these people should be extended to prevent secondary transmission events.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Aedes albopictus; Dengue fever; Dengue virus; Vector
  4. Viruses. 2020 Feb 28. pii: E264. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
    Faizah AN, Kobayashi D, Isawa H, Amoa-Bosompem M, Murota K, Higa Y, Futami K, Shimada S, Kim KS, Itokawa K, Watanabe M, Tsuda Y, Minakawa N, Miura K, Hirayama K, Sawabe K.
      Japanese encephalitis (JE) remains a public health concern in several countries, and the Culex mosquito plays a central role in its transmission cycle. Culex mosquitoes harbor a wide range of viruses, including insect-specific viruses (ISVs), and can transmit a variety of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) that cause human and animal diseases. The current trend of studies displays enhanced efforts to characterize the mosquito virome through bulk RNA sequencing due to possible arbovirus-ISV interactions; however, the extent of viral diversity in the mosquito taxon is still poorly understood, particularly in some disease vectors. In this study, arboviral screening and RNA virome analysis of Culex tritaeniorhynchus and C. pseudovishnui, which are part of the Culex vishnui subgroup mosquitoes, were performed. Results from these two mosquito species, known as the major vectors of JE virus (JEV) in Asia, collected in three prefectures in Japan were also compared with the sympatric species C. inatomii. A total of 27 viruses, including JEV, were detected from these Culex mosquitoes. Molecular and phylogenetic analyses of the detected viruses classified 15 of the 27 viruses as novel species, notably belonging to the Flaviviridae, Rhabdoviridae, Totiviridae, and Iflaviridae families. The successful isolation of JEV genotype I confirmed its continuous presence in Japan, suggesting the need for periodic surveillance. Aside from JEV, this study has also reported the diversity of the RNA virome of disease vectors and broadened the knowledge on mosquito virome profiles containing both arbovirus and ISV. Mosquito taxon seemed to contribute largely to the virome structure (e.g., virome composition, diversity, and abundance) as opposed to the geographical location of the mosquito species. This study therefore offers notable insights into the ecology and evolution of each identified virus and viral family. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to characterize the viromes of the major JE vectors in Japan.
    Keywords:  Culex tritaeniorhynchus; Culex vishnui subgroup; Japanese encephalitis virus; arbovirus; flavivirus; insect-specific virus; metagenomics; virome
  5. Commun Biol. 2020 Mar 06. 3(1): 105
    Epis S, Varotto-Boccazzi I, Crotti E, Damiani C, Giovati L, Mandrioli M, Biggiogera M, Gabrieli P, Genchi M, Polonelli L, Daffonchio D, Favia G, Bandi C.
      Wolbachia can reduce the capability of mosquitoes to transmit infectious diseases to humans and is currently exploited in campaigns for the control of arboviruses, like dengue and Zika. Under the assumption that Wolbachia-mediated activation of insect immunity plays a role in the reduction of mosquito vectorial capacity, we focused our attention on the Wolbachia surface protein (WSP), a potential inductor of innate immunity. We hypothesized that the heterologous expression of this protein in gut- and tissue-associated symbionts may reduce parasite transmission. We thus engineered the mosquito bacterial symbiont Asaia to express WSP (AsaiaWSP). AsaiaWSP induced activation of the host immune response in Aedes aegypti and Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes, and inhibited the development of the heartworm parasite Dirofilaria immitis in Ae. aegypti. These results consolidate previous evidence on the immune-stimulating property of WSP and make AsaiaWSP worth of further investigations as a potential tool for the control of mosquito-borne diseases.
  6. Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 02. 10(1): 3855
    Ferreira-de-Lima VH, Andrade PDS, Thomazelli LM, Marrelli MT, Urbinatti PR, Almeida RMMS, Lima-Camara TN.
      Vertical transmission in Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus is considered a maintenance mechanism for dengue virus (DENV) during unfavorable conditions and may be implicated in dengue outbreaks. Since DENV infection dynamics vary among wild-type viruses and vector populations, vertical transmission rates can also vary between regions. However, even though São Paulo is the most populous city in the Americas and has experienced major dengue epidemics, natural vertical transmission had never been detected in this area before. Here we confirm and describe for the first time natural vertical transmission of DENV-3 in two pools of male Ae. albopictus from the city of São Paulo. The detection of DENV-3 in years when no human autochthonous cases of this serotype were recorded suggests that silent circulation of DENV-3 is occurring and indicates that green areas may be maintaining serotypes that are not circulating in the human population, possibly by a vertical transmission mechanism.
  7. Parasit Vectors. 2020 Mar 06. 13(1): 121
    Visser TM, de Cock MP, Hiwat H, Wongsokarijo M, Verhulst NO, Koenraadt CJM.
      BACKGROUND: Emerging arboviral diseases like Zika, dengue and chikungunya that are transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, are increasingly threatening human health. Blends of human-like synthetic chemical attractants can be used to attract host-seeking mosquitoes. The aim of this study was to test new combinations of traps and odour baits in the laboratory, followed by testing the best candidates in the field to improve Ae. aegypti monitoring and surveillance.METHODS: First, the BG-Suna trap was evaluated for capturing laboratory-reared Ae. aegypti by testing normal and inverted positions in screen cage tests. Secondly, the attractiveness of the MB5 blend, CO2, and their combination was tested. Thirdly, we tested the attractiveness of different trap types (BG-Suna, BG-Sentinel, MM-X and CDC light trap). Finally, we confirmed laboratory results in the field in Paramaribo, Suriname, using the MB5 and BG-Lure odour blends, CO2 and the BG-Sentinel and BG-Bowl trap using a Latin Square design.
    RESULTS: The MB5 blend in combination with CO2 outperformed traps baited only with CO2 or MB5 in screen cage tests (P < 0.0001). The BG-Sentinel trap performed equally well as the inverted BG-Suna and was taken to the field (P = 0.729). In the field, we captured Ae. aegypti, Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. nigripalpus. We confirmed the laboratory results and found that the combination of the MB5 blend and CO2 almost doubled Ae. aegypti female captures (P = 0.004) and more than doubled Culex spp. female captures (P = 0.005) compared to using only CO2. Interestingly, the MB5 blend outperformed the commercially available BG-Lure, in the BG-Sentinel (P < 0.001). The BG-Bowl also attracted Ae. aegypti when baited with the MB5 blend in similar numbers as the BG-Sentinel baited with the MB5 (P = 0.362).
    CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that the BG-Sentinel trap baited with the MB5 blend and CO2 outperforms the current golden standard (BG-Sentinel trap with BG-Lure) for monitoring Ae. aegypti females and males, in both laboratory and field experiments. The BG-Bowl baited with the MB5 blend is a good candidate for home use. Finally, the results show that CO2 is an indispensable component of the attractive blend.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Carbon dioxide; Host-seeking; Odour-baited traps; Odour-blends; Trapping
  8. Infect Dis Poverty. 2020 Mar 02. 9(1): 23
    Kamgang B, Wilson-Bahun TA, Yougang AP, Lenga A, Wondji CS.
      BACKGROUND: In the Republic of Congo, with two massive outbreaks of chikungunya observed this decade, little is known about the insecticide resistance profile of the two major arbovirus vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Here, we established the resistance profile of both species to insecticides and explored the resistance mechanisms to help Congo to better prepare for future outbreaks.METHODS: Immature stages of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus were sampled in May 2017 in eight cities of the Republic of the Congo and reared to adult stage. Larval and adult bioassays, and synergist (piperonyl butoxide [PBO]) assays were carried out according to WHO guidelines. F1534C mutation was genotyped in field collected adults in both species and the polymorphism of the sodium channel gene assessed in Ae. aegypti.
    RESULTS: All tested populations were susceptible to temephos after larval bioassays. A high resistance level was observed to 4% DDT in both species countrywide (21.9-88.3% mortality). All but one population (Ae. aegypti from Ngo) exhibited resistance to type I pyrethroid, permethrin, but showed a full susceptibility to type II pyrethroid (deltamethrin) in almost all locations. Resistance was also reported to 1% propoxur in Ae. aegypti likewise in two Ae. albopictus populations (Owando and Ouesso), and the remaining were fully susceptible. All populations of both species were fully susceptible to 1% fenitrothion. A full recovery of susceptibility was observed in Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus when pre-exposed to PBO and then to propoxur and permethrin respectively. The F1534C kdr mutation was not detected in either species. The high genetic variability of the portion of sodium channel spanning the F1534C in Ae. aegypti further supported that knockdown resistance probably play no role in the permethrin resistance.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that both Aedes species were susceptible to organophosphates (temephos and fenitrothion), while for other insecticide classes tested the profile of resistance vary according to the population origin. These findings could help to implement better and efficient strategies to control these species in the Congo in the advent of future arbovirus outbreaks.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Aedes albopictus; Insecticide resistance; Republic of the Congo; Resistance mechanism
  9. Front Vet Sci. 2020 ;7 48
    Oliveira ARS, Cohnstaedt LW, Noronha LE, Mitzel D, McVey DS, Cernicchiaro N.
      Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a zoonotic, emerging disease transmitted by mosquito vectors infected with the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). Its potential for emergence into susceptible regions is high, including in the United States (US), and is a reason of economic concern among the agricultural community, and to public health due to high morbidity and mortality rates in humans. While exploring the complexities of interactions involved with viral transmission, we proposed a new outlook on the role of vectors, hosts and the environment under changing conditions. For instance, the role of feral pigs may have been underappreciated in our previous work, given research keeps pointing to the importance of susceptible populations of wild swine in naïve regions as key elements for the introduction of emergent vector-borne diseases. High risk of JEV introduction has been associated with the transportation of infected mosquitoes via aircraft. Nonetheless, no JEV outbreaks have been reported in the US to date and results from a qualitative risk assessment considered the risk of establishment to be negligible under the current conditions (environmental, vector, pathogen, and host). In this work, we discuss virus-vector-host interactions and ecological factors important for virus transmission and spread, review research on the risk of JEV introduction to the US considering the implications of risk dismissal as it relates to past experiences with similar arboviruses, and reflect on future directions, challenges, and implications of a JEV incursion.
    Keywords:  JEV; Japanese encephalitis; arbovirus; perspective; risk assessment
  10. Ecology. 2020 Mar 04. e03038
    McClure KM, Fleischer RC, Kilpatrick AM.
      The introduction of non-native species and reductions in native biodiversity have resulted in substantial changes in vector and host communities globally, but the consequences for pathogen transmission are poorly understood. In lowland Hawai'i, bird communities are composed of primarily introduced species, with scattered populations of abundant native species. We examined the influence of avian host community composition-specifically the role of native and introduced species, as well as host diversity, on the prevalence of avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) in the southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus). We also explored the reciprocal effect of malaria transmission on native host populations. Avian malaria infection prevalence in mosquitoes increased with the density and relative abundance of native birds, as well as host community competence, but was uncorrelated with host diversity. Avian malaria transmission was estimated to reduce population growth rates of Hawai'i 'amakihi (Chlorodrepanis virens) by 7-14%, but mortality from malaria could not explain gaps in this species' distribution at our sites. Our results suggest that in Hawai'i native host species increase pathogen transmission to mosquitoes, but introduced species can also support malaria transmission alone. The increase in pathogen transmission with native bird abundance leads to additional disease mortality in native birds, further increasing disease impacts in an ecological feedback cycle. In addition, vector abundance was higher at sites without native birds and as a result overwhelmed the effects of host community composition on transmission such that infected mosquito abundance was highest at sites without native birds. Higher disease risk at these sites due to higher vector abundance could inhibit recolonization and recovery of native species to these areas. More broadly, this work shows how differences in host competence for a pathogen among native and introduced taxa can influence transmission and highlights the need to examine this question in other systems to determine the generality of this result.
    Keywords:  Hawaiian honeycreeper; community composition; demography; dilution effect; distribution; introduced species; reservoir
  11. G3 (Bethesda). 2020 Mar 02. pii: g3.401133.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
    Macias VM, McKeand S, Chaverra-Rodriguez D, Hughes GL, Fazekas A, Pujhari S, Jasinskiene N, James AA, Rasgon JL.
      Innovative tools are essential for advancing malaria control and depend on an understanding of molecular mechanisms governing transmission of malaria parasites by Anopheles mosquitoes. CRISPR/Cas9-based gene disruption is a powerful method to uncover underlying biology of vector-pathogen interactions and can itself form the basis of mosquito control strategies. However, embryo injection methods used to genetically manipulate mosquitoes (especially Anopheles) are difficult and inefficient, particularly for non-specialist laboratories. Here, we adapted the ReMOT Control (Receptor-mediated Ovary Transduction of Cargo) technique to deliver Cas9 ribonucleoprotein complex to adult mosquito ovaries, generating targeted and heritable mutations in the malaria vector Anopheles stephensi without injecting embryos. In Anopheles, ReMOT Control gene editing was as efficient as standard embryo injections. The application of ReMOT Control to Anopheles opens the power of CRISPR/Cas9 methods to malaria laboratories that lack the equipment or expertise to perform embryo injections and establishes the flexibility of ReMOT Control for diverse mosquito species.
    Keywords:  CRISPR/Cas9; ovary translocation; reverse genetics
  12. J Exp Biol. 2020 Mar 03. pii: jeb.221218. [Epub ahead of print]
    Lutz EK, Ha KT, Riffell JA.
      Mosquitoes spread deadly diseases that impact millions of people every year. Understanding mosquito physiology and behavior is vital for public health and disease prevention. However, many important questions remain unanswered in the field of mosquito neuroethology, particularly in our understanding of the larval stage. In this study, we investigate the innate exploration behavior of six different species of disease vector mosquito larvae. We show that these species exhibit strikingly different movement paths, corresponding to a wide range of exploration behaviors. We also investigate the response of each species to an appetitive food cue, aversive cue or neutral control. By contrast to the large differences in exploration behavior, all species appeared to gather near preferred cues through random aggregation rather than directed navigation and exhibited slower speeds once encountering food patches. Our results identify key behavioral differences among important disease vector species, and suggests that navigation and exploration among even closely related mosquito species may be much more distinct than previously thought.
    Keywords:  Aedes; Anopheles; Chemosensory; Culex; Disease vector; Larvae; Mosquito; Navigation
  13. Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 04. 10(1): 4017
    Garg H, Mehmetoglu-Gurbuz T, Joshi A.
      Mosquito borne viral diseases are an emerging threat as evident from the recent outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) as well as repeated outbreaks of Chikungunya (CHIKV), Yellow fever (YFV) and Japanese encephalitis (JEV) virus in different geographical regions. These four arboviruses are endemic in overlapping regions due to the co-prevalence of the transmitting mosquito vector species Aedes and Culex. Thus, a multivalent vaccine that targets all four viruses would be of benefit to regions of the world where these diseases are endemic. We developed a potential Virus Like Particle (VLP) based multivalent vaccine candidate to target these diseases by using stable cell lines that continuously secrete VLPs in the culture supernatants. Moreover, inclusion of Capsid in the VLPs provides an additional viral protein leading to an enhanced immune response as evident from our previous studies with ZIKV. Immunization of Balb/c mice with different combinations of Capsid protein containing VLPs either as monovalent, bivalent or tetravalent formulation resulted in generation of high levels of neutralizing antibodies. Interestingly, the potential tetravalent VLP vaccine candidate provided strong neutralizing antibody titers against all four viruses. The 293 T stable cell lines secreting VLPs were adapted to grow in suspension cultures to facilitate vaccine scale up. Our stable cell lines secreting individual VLPs provide a flexible yet scalable platform conveniently adaptable to different geographical regions as per the need. Further studies in appropriate animal models will be needed to define the efficacy of the multivalent vaccine candidate to protect against lethal virus challenge.
  14. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Mar 02. 14(3): e0008118
    Xu Z, Bambrick H, Frentiu FD, Devine G, Yakob L, Williams G, Hu W.
      BACKGROUND: Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease and its transmission is closely linked to climate. We aimed to review available information on the projection of dengue in the future under climate change scenarios.METHODS: Using five databases (PubMed, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, Scopus and Web of Science), a systematic review was conducted to retrieve all articles from database inception to 30th June 2019 which projected the future of dengue under climate change scenarios. In this review, "the future of dengue" refers to disease burden of dengue, epidemic potential of dengue cases, geographical distribution of dengue cases, and population exposed to climatically suitable areas of dengue.
    RESULTS: Sixteen studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, and five of them projected a global dengue future. Most studies reported an increase in disease burden, a wider spatial distribution of dengue cases or more people exposed to climatically suitable areas of dengue as climate change proceeds. The years 1961-1990 and 2050 were the most commonly used baseline and projection periods, respectively. Multiple climate change scenarios introduced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including B1, A1B, and A2, as well as Representative Concentration Pathway 2.6 (RCP2.6), RCP4.5, RCP6.0 and RCP8.5, were most widely employed. Instead of projecting the future number of dengue cases, there is a growing consensus on using "population exposed to climatically suitable areas for dengue" or "epidemic potential of dengue cases" as the outcome variable. Future studies exploring non-climatic drivers which determine the presence/absence of dengue vectors, and identifying the pivotal factors triggering the transmission of dengue in those climatically suitable areas would help yield a more accurate projection for dengue in the future.
    CONCLUSIONS: Projecting the future of dengue requires a systematic consideration of assumptions and uncertainties, which will facilitate the development of tailored climate change adaptation strategies to manage dengue.
  15. Braz J Biol. 2020 Feb 21. pii: S1519-69842020005003202. [Epub ahead of print]
    Viana JL, Soares-da-Silva J, Vieira-Neta MRA, Tadei WP, Oliveira CD, Abdalla FC, Peixoto CA, Pinheiro VCS.
      Entomopathogenic agents are viable and effective options due to their selective action against insects but benign effects on humans and the environment. The most promising entomopathogens include subspecies of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which are widely used for the biological control of insects, including mosquito vectors of human pathogens. The efficacy of B. thuringiensis toxicity has led to the search for new potentially toxic isolates in different regions of the world. Therefore, soil samples from the Amazon, Cerrado and Caatinga biomes of the state of Maranhão were evaluated for their potential larvicidal action against Aedes aegypti. The isolates with high toxicity to mosquito larvae, as detected by bioassays, were subjected to histological evaluation under a light microscope to identify the genes potentially responsible for the toxicity. Additionally, the toxic effects of these isolates on the intestinal epithelium were assessed. In the new B. thuringiensis isolates toxic to A. aegypti larvae, cry and cyt genes were amplified at different frequencies, with cry4, cyt1, cry32, cry10 and cry11 being the most frequent (33-55%) among those investigated. These genes encode specific proteins toxic to dipterans and may explain the severe morphological changes in the intestine of A. aegypti larvae caused by the toxins of the isolates.
  16. Acta Trop. 2020 Feb 28. pii: S0001-706X(19)31197-0. [Epub ahead of print] 105419
    da Silva MRM, Ricci-Júnior E.
      The incidence of dengue, Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever and malaria cases has increased significantly in the world. To avoid mosquito bites, one of the best strategies is the use of repellents. The interest in using plants as mosquito repellents has increased significantly. In this review, has been performed a bibliographic survey of the plants with repellent activity, evaluate the trends of natural repellent formulations in the scientific literature, those described in patents and commercially available products. Limonene, 1,8-cineole, geraniol, eugenol and citronellal are the active compounds that mostly appear in the essential oils of plants with repellent activity. The type of natural repellent formulation mostly widely marketed is the spray and lotion, respectively. In patents, classic formulation as emulsion was most frequently used, followed by lotions and sprays. Data collected from scientific articles and patents show that microparticles are the most widely used extended release systems nowadays for natural repellents. The citronella essential oil was the one mostly used among the classic commercially available formulations, as well as in the extended release systems described in the literature and patents. Future research must be conducted to the use of nanotechnology in the development of extended release systems containing essential oils with repellent activity produced from natural and biodegradable materials.
    Keywords:  Extended release; Formulation; Natural repellent; Patent
  17. Cell Microbiol. 2020 Mar 06.
    Rana VS, Popli S, Saurav GK, Yadav K, Kumar A, Sunil S, Kumar N, Singh OP, Natarajan K, Rajagopal R.
      Dengue virus (DENV) comprises of 4 serotypes (DENV-1 to 4) and is medically one of the most important arboviruses (arthropod-borne virus). DENV infection is a major human health burden and is transmitted between humans by the insect vector, Aedes aegypti. Ae. aegypti ingests DENV while feeding on infected humans, which traverses through its gut, haemolymph and salivary glands of the mosquito before being injected into a healthy human. During this process of transmission, DENV must interact with many proteins of the insect vector, which are important for its successful transmission. Our study focused on the identification and characterization of interacting protein partners in Ae. aegypti to DENV. Since domain III (DIII) of envelope protein (E) is exposed on the virion surface and is involved in virus entry into various cells, we performed phage display library screening against domain III of the envelope protein (EDIII) of DENV-2. A peptide sequence showing similarity to lachesin protein was found interacting with EDIII. The lachesin protein was cloned, heterologously expressed, purified and used for in vitro interaction studies. Lachesin protein interacted with EDIII and also with DENV. Further, lachesin protein was localized in neuronal cells of different organs of Ae. aegypti by confocal microscopy. Blocking of lachesin protein in Ae. aegypti with anti-lachesin antibody resulted in a significant reduction in DENV replication. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Dengue virus; Interacting protein partners
  18. Parasit Vectors. 2020 Mar 06. 13(1): 120
    Chali W, Ashine T, Hailemeskel E, Gashaw A, Tafesse T, Lanke K, Esayas E, Kedir S, Shumie G, Behaksra SW, Bradley J, Yewhalaw D, Mamo H, Petros B, Drakeley C, Gadisa E, Bousema T, Tadesse FG.
      BACKGROUND: Mosquito-feeding assays that assess transmission of Plasmodium from man-to-mosquito typically use laboratory mosquito colonies. The microbiome and genetic background of local mosquitoes may be different and influence Plasmodium transmission efficiency. In order to interpret transmission studies to the local epidemiology, it is therefore crucial to understand the relationship between infectivity in laboratory-adapted and local mosquitoes.METHODS: We assessed infectivity of Plasmodium vivax-infected patients from Adama, Ethiopia, using laboratory-adapted (colony) and wild-caught (wild) mosquitoes raised from larval collections in paired feeding experiments. Feeding assays used 4-6 day-old female Anopheles arabiensis mosquitoes after starvation for 12 h (colony) and 18 h (wild). Oocyst development was assessed microscopically 7 days post-feeding. Wild mosquitoes were identified morphologically and confirmed by genotyping. Asexual parasites and gametocytes were quantified in donor blood by microscopy.
    RESULTS: In 36 paired experiments (25 P. vivax infections and 11 co-infections with P. falciparum), feeding efficiency was higher in colony (median: 62.5%; interquartile range, IQR: 47.0-79.0%) compared to wild mosquitoes (median: 27.8%; IQR: 17.0-38.0%; Z = 5.02; P < 0.001). Plasmodium vivax from infectious individuals (51.6%, 16/31) infected a median of 55.0% (IQR: 6.7-85.7%; range: 5.5-96.7%; n = 14) of the colony and 52.7% (IQR: 20.0-80.0%; range: 3.2-95.0%; n = 14) of the wild mosquitoes. A strong association (ρ(16) = 0.819; P < 0.001) was observed between the proportion of infected wild and colony mosquitoes. A positive association was detected between microscopically detected gametocytes and the proportion of infected colony (ρ(31) = 0.452; P = 0.011) and wild (ρ(31) = 0.386; P = 0.032) mosquitoes.
    CONCLUSIONS: Infectivity assessments with colony and wild mosquitoes yielded similar infection results. This finding supports the use of colony mosquitoes for assessments of the infectious reservoir for malaria in this setting whilst acknowledging the importance of mosquito factors influencing sporogonic development of Plasmodium parasites.
    Keywords:  Anopheles arabiensis; Infectivity; Membrane-feeding; Plasmodium vivax; Relative permissiveness; Wild mosquito
  19. Malar J. 2020 Mar 04. 19(1): 104
    Manel Yapabandara AMG, do Rosario de Fatima Mota M, Sarmento R, Bosco JD, Wickremasinghe R.
      BACKGROUND: Timor Leste has made remarkable progress from malaria control to malaria elimination in a span of 10 years during which organized malaria control efforts were instituted. The good practices and possible factors that have contributed to the remarkable transition from malaria control to elimination in a newly independent country devastated by civil unrest which left the entire administrative structure including the health sector in a disrupted non-functional state are highlighted.METHODS: Data from the National Malaria Control Programme were reviewed. A literature search was carried out using the key words "malaria", "Timor Leste", "East Timor", and "malaria control" and "malaria elimination". All relevant manuscripts and reports that were identified in the search were reviewed. Key personnel of the NMCP, WHO and the GFATM involved in the project were interviewed.
    RESULTS: With the setting up of the National Malaria Control Programme just after independence in 2003 with two officers, the programme expanded over the years and strategic malaria control activities in an organized manner commenced in 2009 with funding from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The incidence of malaria declined dramatically from 223,002 cases in 2006 with the last indigenous case being reported in June 2017. The decline in malaria was associated with strategic application of key evidence-based interventions taking into account the burden of disease, characteristics of vectors, and stratification of risk areas ensuring universal access to malaria prevention, and quality assured diagnostic tools and effective anti-malarial medicines at point of care, intensified surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, and capacity building, including training of staff, with adequate programme funding. The programme was provided with technical expertise and sustained political commitment that ensured uninterrupted implementation of interventions based on national strategic plans. The incorporation of the malaria control programme within an evolving health system helped the transition from malaria control to malaria elimination.
    CONCLUSION: Universal access to quality assured malaria diagnosis and treatment and focussed vector control, implemented throughout the country in an organized manner with adequate funding and political commitment were key to the successful interruption of malaria transmission in the country. All the practices or factors listed did not work in isolation but rather synergistically in an integrated manner. Malaria elimination is possible even in tropical areas of South and Southeast Asia.
    Keywords:  Malaria control; Malaria elimination; Timor Leste
  20. BMC Med. 2020 Mar 04. 18(1): 45
    Sinha I, Sayeed AA, Uddin D, Wesolowski A, Zaman SI, Faiz MA, Ghose A, Rahman MR, Islam A, Karim MJ, Saha A, Rezwan MK, Shamsuzzaman AKM, Jhora ST, Aktaruzzaman MM, Chang HH, Miotto O, Kwiatkowski D, Dondorp AM, Day NPJ, Hossain MA, Buckee C, Maude RJ.
      BACKGROUND: Spread of malaria and antimalarial resistance through human movement present major threats to current goals to eliminate the disease. Bordering the Greater Mekong Subregion, southeast Bangladesh is a potentially important route of spread to India and beyond, but information on travel patterns in this area are lacking.METHODS: Using a standardised short survey tool, 2090 patients with malaria were interviewed at 57 study sites in 2015-2016 about their demographics and travel patterns in the preceding 2 months.
    RESULTS: Most travel was in the south of the study region between Cox's Bazar district (coastal region) to forested areas in Bandarban (31% by days and 45% by nights), forming a source-sink route. Less than 1% of travel reported was between the north and south forested areas of the study area. Farmers (21%) and students (19%) were the top two occupations recorded, with 67 and 47% reporting travel to the forest respectively. Males aged 25-49 years accounted for 43% of cases visiting forests but only 24% of the study population. Children did not travel. Women, forest dwellers and farmers did not travel beyond union boundaries. Military personnel travelled the furthest especially to remote forested areas.
    CONCLUSIONS: The approach demonstrated here provides a framework for identifying key traveller groups and their origins and destinations of travel in combination with knowledge of local epidemiology to inform malaria control and elimination efforts. Working with the NMEP, the findings were used to derive a set of policy recommendations to guide targeting of interventions for elimination.
    Keywords:  Bangladesh; Malaria epidemiology; Population movement
  21. Viruses. 2020 Feb 29. pii: E274. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
    Birnberg L, Temmam S, Aranda C, Correa-Fiz F, Talavera S, Bigot T, Eloit M, Busquets N.
      Worldwide, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are a major burden on public and animal health. Arthropod vectors, with mosquitoes being the main contributors of global disease, transmit more than 70% of the recognized EIDs. To assess new alternatives for arthropod-borne viral diseases surveillance, and for the detection of new viruses, honey-baited Flinders Technology Associates (FTA) cards were used as sugar bait in mosquito traps during entomological surveys at the Llobregat River Delta (Catalonia, Spain). Next generation sequencing (NGS) metagenomics analysis was applied on honey-baited FTA cards, which had been exposed to field-captured mosquitoes to characterize their associated virome. Arthropod- and plant-infecting viruses governed the virome profile on FTA cards. Twelve near-complete viral genomes were successfully obtained, suggesting good quality preservation of viral RNAs. Mosquito pools linked to the FTA cards were screened for the detection of mosquito-associated viruses by specific RT-PCRs to confirm the presence of these viruses. The circulation of viruses related to Alphamesonivirus, Quaranjavirus and unclassified Bunyavirales was detected in mosquitoes, and phylogenetic analyses revealed their similarities to viruses previously reported in other continents. To the best our knowledge, our findings constitute the first distribution record of these viruses in European mosquitoes and the first hint of insect-specific viruses in mosquitoes' saliva in field conditions, demonstrating the feasibility of this approach to monitor the transmissible fraction of the mosquitoes' virome. In conclusion, this pilot viromics study on honey-baited FTA cards was shown to be a valid approach for the detection of viruses circulating in mosquitoes, thereby setting up an alternative tool for arbovirus surveillance and control programs.
    Keywords:  Alphamesonivirus; FTA cards; NGS; Quaranjavirus; insect specific virus; saliva; unclassified Bunyavirales
  22. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Mar 04. pii: E1678. [Epub ahead of print]17(5):
    Goiri F, González MA, Goikolea J, Oribe M, Castro V, Delacour S, Lucientes J, Ortega-Araiztegi I, Barandika JF, García-Pérez AL.
      1) Background: Aedes albopictus has rapidly expanded throughout Europe, becoming a public health concern in the Mediterranean Basin. 2) Methods: Following the detection of Ae. albopictus in the southwestern French region of Aquitaine in 2012, an entomological surveillance programme was implemented in the Basque Country (Northern Spain) in 2013. 3) Results: Ae. albopictus eggs were first detected in 2014 in a transited parking area in the northeastern sampling point, 22 km away from the nearest French site with recorded presence of tiger mosquito. At this site, eggs were found throughout the study (2014-2018). Other western and southern municipalities became positive in 2017 and 2018. Ae. albopictus adults were first captured in 2018 by aspiration of the vegetation in an area where eggs had been detected since 2015, suggesting a progressive establishment of a self-sustained population. Incidence of insect bites in humans was roughly constant over the study period except for a significant increase in 2018 in the Health County where eggs had been detected since 2014. Densities of Ae. albopictus eggs in positive areas remained at similar levels over the years. 4) Conclusion: Multiple approaches and standardized methods are necessary to successfully control this vector.
    Keywords:  Aedes albopictus; biocides; human bites; ovitraps; surveillance
  23. Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Feb 27. pii: S1201-9712(20)30106-5. [Epub ahead of print]
    Togami E, Gyawali N, Ong O, Kama M, Cao-Lormeau VM, Aubry M, Ko AI, Nilles EJ, Collins-Emerson JM, Devine GJ, Weinstein P, Lau CL.
      BACKGROUND: Ross River virus (RRV) is a zoonotic alphavirus transmitted by several mosquito species. Until recently, endemic transmission was only considered possible in the presence of marsupial reservoirs.METHODS: We investigated RRV seroprevalence in placental mammals, including horses, cows, goats, pigs, dogs, rats, and mice in Fiji, where there are no marsupials. A total of 302 vertebrate serum samples were collected from 86 households from 10 communities in Western Fiji.
    FINDINGS: Neutralizing antibodies against RRV were detected in 28 to 100% of sera depending on species, and neutralization was strong even at high dilutions.
    SIGNIFICANCE: Our results are unlikely to be due to cross reactions; Chikungunya is the only other alphavirus known to be present in the Pacific Islands, but it rarely spills over into non-humans, even during epidemics. Our findings, together with recent report of high RRV seroprevalence in humans, strongly suggest that RRV is circulating in Fiji in the absence of marsupial reservoirs. Considering that all non-human vertebrates present in Fiji are panglobal in distribution, RRV has the potential to further expand its geographic range. Further surveillance and access to diagnostics of RRV is critical for the early detection of emergence and outbreaks.
    Keywords:  Ross River virus; arbovirus; emerging infectious diseases; endemic diseases; zoonoses
  24. BMC Res Notes. 2020 Mar 04. 13(1): 127
    Fofana M, Mitri C, Diallo D, Rotureau B, Diagne CT, Gaye A, Ba Y, Dieme C, Diallo M, Dia I.
      OBJECTIVE: In tropical Africa, trypanosomiasis is present in endemic areas with many other diseases including malaria. Because malaria vectors become more anthropo-zoophilic under the current insecticide pressure, they may be exposed to trypanosome parasites. By collecting mosquitoes in six study sites with distinct malaria infection prevalence and blood sample from cattle, we tried to assess the influence of malaria-trypanosomiasis co-endemicity on the vectorial capacity of Anopheles.RESULTS: Overall, all animal infections were due to Trypanosoma vivax (infection rates from 2.6 to 10.5%) in villages where the lowest Plasmodium prevalence were observed at the beginning of the study. An. gambiae s.l. displayed trophic preferences for human-animal hosts. Over 84 mosquitoes, only one was infected by Plasmodium falciparum (infection rate: 4.5%) in a site that displayed the highest prevalence at the beginning of the study. Thus, Anopheles could be exposed to Trypanosoma when they feed on infected animals. No Plasmodium infection was observed in the Trypanosoma-infected animals sites. This can be due to an interaction between both parasites as observed in mice and highlights the need of further studies considering Trypanosoma/Plasmodium mixed infections to better characterize the role of these infections in the dynamic of malaria transmission and the mechanisms involved.
    Keywords:  Anopheles; Mixed infection; Plasmodium; Senegal; Trypanosoma
  25. Environ Res. 2020 Feb 06. pii: S0013-9351(20)30114-6. [Epub ahead of print]184 109222
    Akter R, Hu W, Gatton M, Bambrick H, Naish S, Tong S.
      BACKGROUND: Dengue is a significant public health concern in northern Queensland, Australia. This study compared the epidemic features of dengue transmission among different climate zones and explored the threshold of weather variability for climate zones in relation to dengue in Queensland, Australia.METHODS: Daily data on dengue cases and weather variables including minimum temperature, maximum temperature and rainfall for the period of January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2015 were obtained from Queensland Health and Australian Bureau of Meteorology, respectively. Climate zones shape file for Australia was also obtained from Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Kruskal-Wallis test was performed to check whether the distribution of dengue significantly differed between climate zones. Time series regression tree model was used to estimate the threshold effects of the monthly weather variables on dengue in different climate zones.
    RESULTS: During the study period, the highest dengue incidence rate was found in the tropical climate zone (15.09/10,000) with the second highest in the grassland climate zone (3.49/10,000). Dengue responded differently to weather variability in different climate zones. In every climate zone, temperature was the primary predictor of dengue. However, the threshold values, type of temperature (e.g. maximum, minimum, or mean), and lag time for dengue varied between climate zones. Monthly mean temperature above 27°C at a lag of two months and monthly minimum temperature above 22°C at a lag of one month was found to be the most favourable weather condition for dengue in the tropical and subtropical climate zone, respectively. However, in the grassland climate zone, maximum temperature above 38°C at a lag of five months was found to be the ideal condition for dengue. Monthly rainfall with threshold value of 1.7 mm was found to be a significant contributor to dengue only in the tropical climate zone.
    CONCLUSIONS: The temperature threshold for dengue was lower in both tropical and subtropical climate zones than in the grassland climate zone. The different temperature threshold between climate zones suggests that an early warning system would need to be developed based on local socio-ecological conditions of the climate zone to manage dengue control and intervention programs effectively.
    Keywords:  Dengue; Threshold; Time series regression tree; Weather