bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2020‒03‒22
twenty-five papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University


  1. Infect Dis Poverty. 2020 Mar 18. 9(1): 30
    Fotakis EA, Giantsis IA, Castells Sierra J, Tanti F, Balaska S, Mavridis K, Kourtidis S, Vontas J, Chaskopoulou A.
      BACKGROUND: As of 2015 thousands of refugees are being hosted in temporary refugee camps in Greece. Displaced populations, travelling and living under poor conditions with limited access to healthcare are at a high risk of exposure to vector borne disease (VBD). This study sought to evaluate the risk for VBD transmission within refugee camps in Greece by analyzing the mosquito and sand fly populations present, in light of designing effective and efficient context specific vector and disease control programs.METHODS: A vector/pathogen surveillance network targeting mosquitoes and sand flies was deployed in four temporary refugee camps in Greece. Sample collections were conducted bi-weekly during June-September 2017 with the use of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) light traps and oviposition traps. Using conventional and molecular diagnostic tools we investigated the mosquito/sand fly species composition, population dynamics, pathogen infection rates, and insecticide resistance status in the major vector species.
    RESULTS: Important disease vectors including Anopheles sacharovi, Culex pipiens, Aedes albopictus and the Leishmania vectors Phlebotomus neglectus, P. perfiliewi and P. tobbi were recorded in the study refugee camps. No mosquito pathogens (Plasmodium parasites, flaviviruses) were detected in the analysed samples yet high sand fly Leishmania infection rates are reported. Culex pipiens mosquitoes displayed relatively high knock down resistance (kdr) mutation allelic frequencies (ranging from 41.0 to 63.3%) while kdr mutations were also detected in Ae. albopictus populations, but not in Anopheles and sand fly specimens. No diflubenzuron (DFB) mutations were detected in any of the mosquito species analysed.
    CONCLUSIONS: Important disease vectors and pathogens in vectors (Leishmania spp.) were recorded in the refugee camps indicating a situational risk factor for disease transmission. The Cx. pipiens and Ae. albopictus kdr mutation frequencies recorded pose a potential threat against the effectiveness of pyrethroid insecticides in these settings. In contrast, pyrethroids appear suitable for the control of Anopheles mosquitoes and sand flies and DFB for Cx. pipiens and Ae. albopictus larvicide applications. Targeted actions ensuring adequate living conditions and the establishment of integrated vector-borne disease surveillance programs in refugee settlements are essential for protecting refugee populations against VBDs.
    Keywords:  Insecticide resistance; Mosquito; Refugee camp; Sand fly
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-020-0635-4
  2. Geohealth. 2020 Mar;4(3): e2019GH000201
    Akanda AS, Johnson K, Ginsberg HS, Couret J.
      Changes in human water use, along with temperature and rainfall patterns, are facilitating habitat spread and distribution of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the primary vectors for the transmission of Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika viruses in the Americas. Artificial containers and wet spots provide major sources of mosquito larval habitat in residential areas. Mosquito abatement and control strategies remain the most effective public health interventions for minimizing the impact of these vector-borne diseases. Understanding how water insecurity is conducive to the establishment and elimination of endemic mosquito populations, particularly in arid or semiarid regions, is a vital component in shaping these intervention strategies.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Aedes albopictus; Dengue; Oaxaca; mosquito; water insecurity
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GH000201
  3. J Med Entomol. 2020 Mar 17. pii: tjaa039. [Epub ahead of print]
    Hwang MJ, Kim JH, Kim HC, Kim MS, Klein TA, Choi J, Sim K, Chung Y, Joshi YP, Cheong HK.
      Aedes albopictus (Skuse) was first reported in the Republic of Korea in 1941 (Suwon, Gyeonggi Province). Recently, a mosquito-monitoring program was established in response to the potential development of autochthonous infections of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses, to identify the regional characteristics of Ae. albopictus in Suwon. Daily collections of adult mosquitoes were conducted using Blackhole UV-LED traps and BG-Sentinel traps baited with octenol, carbon dioxide or both at five sites in Suwon (Sungkyunkwan University, Manseok, Seoho, Olympic, and Jungang parks) from 1 July to 1 November 2016. Based on the ecological cycle of mosquitoes, an estimated association between the daily mean temperatures [2 wk prior to the collection date (lag 2 wk)] and relative population abundance were developed using a generalized linear model. The overall proportion of female mosquitoes collected from all traps was 88.3%. Higher female trap indices were observed for mosquitoes collected at BG-Sentinel traps. Additionally, the BG-sentinel trap was more effective collecting Ae. albopictus. Culex pipiens (Coquillett) was the most frequently collected mosquito using UV-LED traps, followed by Ae. vexans nipponii (Theobald), Ochlerotatus koreicus (Edwards), Cx. inatomi (Kamimura and Wada), and members of the Anopheles Hyrcanus Group. Within a certain temperature range, daily mean temperatures 2 wk prior to the collection period was significantly associated with a maximum abundance of Ae. albopictus (P < 0.05) at 26.2°C (95% confidence interval: 24.3-29.4°C). The BG-Sentinel trap is an effective trap for monitoring relative population abundance of Ae. albopictus, and trap catches are significantly correlated with daily mean temperatures.
    Keywords:   Aedes albopictus ; BG-Sentinel trap; UV-LED light trap; time trend; vector ecology
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjaa039
  4. Acta Trop. 2020 Mar 12. pii: S0001-706X(20)30020-6. [Epub ahead of print] 105441
    Hendy A, Hernandez-Acosta E, Chaves BA, Fé NF, Valério D, Mendonça C, de Lacerda MVG, Buenemann M, Vasilakis N, Hanley KA.
      Mosquito-borne Zika virus (ZIKV) was recently introduced into the Americas and now has the potential to spill back into a sylvatic cycle in the region, likely involving non-human primates and Aedes, Haemagogus, and Sabethes species mosquitoes. We investigated potential routes of mosquito-borne virus exchange between urban and sylvatic transmission cycles by characterizing mosquito communities in three urban forest parks that receive heavy traffic from both humans and monkeys in Manaus, Brazil. Parks were stratified by both distance from the urban-forest edge (0, 50, 100, and 500 m) and relative Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) (low, medium, or high), and mosquitoes were sampled at randomly selected sites within each stratum using BG-Sentinel traps. Additionally, temperature, relative humidity, and other environmental data were collected at each site. A total of 1,172 mosquitoes were collected from 184 sites sampled in 2018, of which 98 sites were resampled in 2019. Using park as the unit of replication (i.e. 3 replicates per sampling stratum), a two-way ANOVA showed no effect of distance or NDVI on the mean number of identified species (P > 0.05 for both comparisons) or on species diversity as measured by the Shannon-Wiener diversity index (P > 0.10 for both comparisons). However, the Morisita overlap index revealed that mosquito communities changed substantially with increasing distance from edge, with communities at 0 m and 500 m being quite distinct. Aedes albopictus and Ae. aegypti penetrated at least 100 m into the forest, while forest specialists including Haemagogus janthinomys, Sabethes glaucodaemon, and Sa. tridentatus were detected in low numbers within 100 m from the forest edge. Trichoprosopon digitatum and Psorophora amazonica were among the most abundant species collected, and both showed distributions extending from the forest edge to its interior. Our results show overlapping distributions of urban and forest mosquitoes at park edges, which highlights the risk of arbovirus exchange via multiple bridge vectors in Brazilian urban forest parks. These parks may also provide refugia for both Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti from mosquito control programs.
    Keywords:  Arbovirus; Forest edge; Mosquito; NDVI; Spillback; Zika virus
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2020.105441
  5. Parasit Vectors. 2020 Mar 14. 13(1): 128
    Araujo RV, Feitosa-Suntheimer F, Gold AS, Londono-Renteria B, Colpitts TM.
      BACKGROUND: Zika virus (ZIKV) is transmitted to humans during the bite of an infected mosquito. In a scenario of globalization and climate change, the frequency of outbreaks has and will increase in areas with competent vectors, revealing a need for continuous improvement of ZIKV detection tools in vector populations. A simple, rapid and sensitive assay for viral detection is quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), yet oligos optimized for ZIKV detection in mammalian cells and samples have repeatedly shown high background when used on mosquito ribonucleic acid (RNA). In this paper, we present a one-step qRT-PCR protocol that allows for the detection of ZIKV in mosquitoes and for the evaluation of gene expression from the same mosquito sample and RNA. This assay is a less expensive qRT-PCR approach than that most frequently used in the literature and has a much lower background, allowing confident detection.METHODS: Our new oligo design to detect ZIKV RNA included in silico analysis of both viral and mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus) genomes, targeting sequences conserved between Asian and African ZIKV lineages, but not matching Aedes genomes. This assay will allow researchers to avoid nonspecific amplification in insect samples due to viral integration into the mosquito genome, a phenomenon known to happen in wild and colonized populations of mosquitoes. Standard curves constructed with in vitro transcribed ZIKV RNA were used to optimize the sensitivity, efficiency and reproducibility of the assay.
    RESULTS: Finally, the assay was used with success to detect both ZIKV RNA in infected mosquitoes and to detect expression of the Defensin A gene, an antimicrobial peptide (AMP) involved in Aedes aegypti immune response to virus infection.
    CONCLUSIONS: The experimental approach to detect ZIKV RNA in Aedes aegypti presented here has demonstrated to be specific, sensitive and reliable, and additionally it allows for the analysis of mosquito gene expression during ZIKV infection.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Mosquito gene expression; One-step qRT-PCR; Zika virus
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-4002-x
  6. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(3): e0229829
    Yang D, He Y, Ni W, Lai Q, Yang Y, Xie J, Zhu T, Zhou G, Zheng X.
      BACKGROUND: Aedes albopictus is a major vector for several tropical infectious diseases. Characterization of Ae. albopictus development under natural conditions is crucial for monitoring vector population expansion, dengue virus transmission, and disease outbreak preparedness.METHODS: This study employed mosquito traits as a proxy to understanding life-table traits in mosquitoes using a semi-field study. Ae. albopictus larval and adult life-table experiments were conducted using microcosms under semi-field conditions in Guangzhou. Stage-specific development times and survivorship rates were determined and compared under semi-field conditions in different seasons from early summer (June) to winter (January), to determine the lower temperature limit for larval development and adult survivorship and reproductivity.
    RESULTS: The average egg- hatching rate was 60.1%, with the highest recorded in October (77.1%; mid-autumn). The larval development time was on average 13.2 days (range, 8.5-24.1 days), with the shortest time observed in September(8.7 days; early autumn) and longest in November (22.8 days). The pupation rates of Ae. albopictus larvae were on average 88.9% (range, 81.6-93.4%); they were stable from June to September but decreased from October to November. The adult emergence rates were on average 82.5% (range, 76.8-87.9%) and decreased from July to November. The median survival time of Ae. albopictus adults was on average 7.4 (range, 4.5-9.8), with the shortest time recorded in September. The average lifetime egg mass under semi-field conditions was 37.84 eggs/female. The larvae could develop into adults at temperatures as low as 12.3°C, and the adults could survive for 30.0 days at 16.3°C and still produce eggs. Overall, correlation analysis found that mean temperature and relative humidity were variables significantly affecting larval development and adult survivorship.
    CONCLUSION: Ae. albopictus larvae could develop and emerge and the adults could survive and produce eggs in early winter in Guangzhou. The major impact of changes in ambient temperature, relative humidity, and light intensity was on the egg hatching rates, adult survival time, and egg mass production, rather than on pupation or adult emergence rates.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0229829
  7. Molecules. 2020 Mar 12. pii: E1303. [Epub ahead of print]25(6):
    Dai DN, Chung NT, Huong LT, Hung NH, Chau DTM, Yen NT, Setzer WN.
      Members of the genus Cinnamomum (Lauraceae) have aromatic volatiles in their leaves and bark and some species are commercially important herbs and spices. In this work, the essential oils from five species of Cinnamomum (C. damhaensis, C. longipetiolatum, C. ovatum, C. polyadelphum and C. tonkinense) growing wild in north central Vietnam were obtained by hydrodistillation, analyzed by gas chromatography and screened for antimicrobial and mosquito larvicidal activity. The leaf essential oil of C. tonkinense, rich in β-phellandrene (23.1%) and linalool (32.2%), showed excellent antimicrobial activity (MIC of 32 μg/mL against Enterococcus faecalis and Candida albicans) and larvicidal activity (24 h LC50 of 17.4 μg/mL on Aedes aegypti and 14.1 μg/mL against Culex quinquefasciatus). Cinnamomum polyadelphum leaf essential oil also showed notable antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria and mosquito larvicidal activity, attributable to relatively high concentrations of neral (11.7%) and geranial (16.6%). Thus, members of the genus Cinnamomum from Vietnam have shown promise as antimicrobial agents and as potential vector control agents for mosquitoes.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Aedes albopictus; Culex quinquefasciatus; Lauraceae; antibacterial; antifungal
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25061303
  8. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2020 ;pii: S0037-86822020000100628. [Epub ahead of print]53 e20190018
    Ali SI, Venkatesalu V.
      INTRODUCTION: The larvicidal potential of Saussurea costus (Falc.) Lipsch. was studied against the early 4th instar larvae of Anopheles stephensi Liston., Aedes aegypti Linn.,and Culex quinquefasciatus Say. because of the emergence of mosquito resistance to conventional synthetic insecticides.METHODS: At concentrations of 12.5-200 ppm, larvicidal activities were studied under laboratory conditions.
    RESULTS: After 24 h of exposure, the methanol extract of the roots recorded the highest larvicidal activity against An. stephensi, with LC50 and LC90values of 7.96 and 34.39 ppm, respectively.
    CONCLUSIONS: We are developing potent larvicidal compound(s) from S. costus for controlling the mosquito larval population.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1590/0037-8682-0018-2019
  9. Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 19. 10(1): 4994
    Araujo MDS, Guo F, Rosbash M.
      Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti are perhaps the best studied mosquito species and important carriers of human malaria and arbovirus, respectively. Mosquitoes have daily rhythms in behaviors and show a wide range of activity patterns. Although Anopheles is known to be principally nocturnal and Aedes principally diurnal, details of mosquito activity are not easily assayed in the laboratory. We recently described FlyBox, a simple tracking system for assaying Drosophila locomotor activity rhythms and thought that it might also be applicable to monitoring mosquito activity. Indeed, we show here that FlyBox can easily, conveniently, affordably and accurately measure the activity of Anopheles as well as Aedes over several days. The resulting profiles under light-dark as well as constant darkness conditions are compatible with results in the literature, indicating that this or similar systems will be useful in the future for more detailed studies on a range of insect species and under more diverse laboratory conditions.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-61733-5
  10. J Med Entomol. 2020 Mar 20. pii: tjaa047. [Epub ahead of print]
    Stone CM, Zuo Z, Li B, Ruiz M, Swanson J, Hunt J, Kim CH, Smith RL.
      The spread of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus Skuse, throughout the United States has implications for the transmission potential of vector-borne diseases. We used a 30-yr data set of occurrence records in Illinois and developed a hierarchical Bayesian model to shed light on the patterns and processes involved in the introduction and expansion along the northern edge of the geographic range of this species. We also collected specimens from 10 locations and sequenced a segment of their mitochondrial COI genes to assess possible introduction sources and geographic patterns in genetic variation present within contemporary populations. We documented an increase in the number of observations throughout the southern and central parts of Illinois over the study period. The process through which this spread occurred is likely only partially due to local dispersal. The probability of successfully overwintering was likewise low, but both these parameters increased over the study period. This suggests that the presence of Ae. albopictus has been largely due to repeated introductions, but that in recent years populations may have become established and are leading to an increase in locally driven dispersal. There was considerable genetic diversity among populations in Illinois, with 13 distinct haplotypes present in 10 sampling locations, several of which matched haplotypes previously found to be present in locations such as Texas or Japan. Further research is needed to understand how the combination of continued propagule pressure and establishment of populations are driving the increase and expansion of this invasive mosquito along its northern distribution limit.
    Keywords:  Asian tiger mosquito; haplotype; hierarchical Bayesian model; invasion biology; mitochondrial DNA
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjaa047
  11. Biomed Res Int. 2020 ;2020 9567019
    Withanage GP, Viswakula SD, Gunawardene YS, Hapugoda MD.
      Dengue is the most important mosquito-borne viral infection in Sri Lanka causing an enormous social and economic burden in the country. In the absence of therapeutic drugs and the developed vaccines are under investigation, vector control is the best strategy to reduce the disease transmission. Therefore, the development of novel tools to control dengue vector mosquitoes has become the need of the hour. Novaluron is a recently developed Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) which inhibits chitin synthesis in immature stages of insects. The aim of the study was to identify the efficacy of a simple and cost-effective Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap (AGO) developed using Novaluron to control dengue outbreaks in the District of Gampaha, Sri Lanka. Laboratory and semifield experiments were performed to identify the activity range, optimum field dosage, and residual effects of Novaluron following the World Health Organization guidelines, and field experiments were performed in the Ragama Medical Officer of Health (MOH) area. Two study areas 800 m apart were selected and assigned as treated and control areas randomly. In each study area, 30 households were selected randomly. Each household was given two ovitraps, one placed indoors and the other placed outdoors. Mortality and survival counts were recorded separately for one-year time period and data were analyzed using a two-way repeated measures analysis of variance model. During the laboratory experiments, the adult emerging inhibition was 100% in all tested concentrations. The optimum field dosage was 2 ppm and the residual effect was 28 days. In the field experiments, significantly higher mortality counts were recorded in treated areas both indoor- and outdoor-placed AGOs. Two-factor repeated measures ANOVA followed by Tukey's test confirmed that the mean mortality count is high for the developed AGOs both indoor and outdoor settings. The developed AGO can be deployed to control both indoor and outdoor dengue vector mosquito populations, and in dengue-risk areas, the ovitrap will be supportive to local health authorities to enhance the efficiency of future vector control programs.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/9567019
  12. Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 20. 10(1): 5170
    Díaz-Santiz E, Rojas JC, Casas-Martínez M, Cruz-López L, Malo EA.
      Aedes albopictus is a vector of dengue, chikungunya, and dirofilariasis. Volatile compounds are crucial for mosquitoes to locate their hosts. This knowledge has allowed the identification of attractants derived from human odours for highly anthropophilic mosquito species. In this study, we used rats as a experimental model to identify potential attractants for host-seeking Ae. albopictus females. Porapak Q extracts from immature female rats were more attractive to Ae. albopictus females than those from mature and pregnant females, and males. Phenol, 4-methylphenol, 4-ethylphenol, and indole were identified compounds in male, immature, mature, and pregnant female extracts. There were quantitative differences in these compounds among the extracts that likely explain the discrepancy in their attractiveness. Ae. albopictus females were not attracted to the single compounds when was compared with the four-component blend. However, the binary blend of 4-methylphenol  + 4-ethylphenol and the tertiary blend of 4-methylphenol + 4-ethylphenol + indole were as attractive as the four-component blend. In the field trials, BGS traps baited with the tertiary or quaternary blends caught more Ae. albopictus females and males than BGS traps without lures. This is the first laboratory and field study to identify compounds that mediate the attraction of Ae. albopictus to one of its hosts.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-61925-z
  13. Nat Commun. 2020 Mar 18. 11(1): 1425
    Schmidt H, Collier TC, Hanemaaijer MJ, Houston PD, Lee Y, Lanzaro GC.
      A number of recent papers report that standing genetic variation in natural populations includes ubiquitous polymorphisms within target sites for Cas9-based gene drive (CGD) and that these "drive resistant alleles" (DRA) preclude the successful application of CGD for managing these populations. Here we report the results of a survey of 1280 genomes of the mosquitoes Anopheles gambiae, An. coluzzii, and Aedes aegypti in which we determine that ~90% of all protein-encoding CGD target genes in natural populations include at least one target site with no DRAs at a frequency of ≥1.0%. We conclude that the abundance of conserved target sites in mosquito genomes and the inherent flexibility in CGD design obviates the concern that DRAs present in the standing genetic variation of mosquito populations will be detrimental to the deployment of this technology for population modification strategies.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15204-0
  14. Front Microbiol. 2020 ;11 246
    Talman AM, Ouologuem DTD, Love K, Howick VM, Mulamba C, Haidara A, Dara N, Sylla D, Sacko A, Coulibaly MM, Dao F, Sangare CPO, Djimde A, Lawniczak MKN.
      Plasmodium falciparum remains one of the leading causes of child mortality, and nearly half of the world's population is at risk of contracting malaria. While pathogenesis results from replication of asexual forms in human red blood cells, it is the sexually differentiated forms, gametocytes, which are responsible for the spread of the disease. For transmission to succeed, both mature male and female gametocytes must be taken up by a female Anopheles mosquito during its blood meal for subsequent differentiation into gametes and mating inside the mosquito gut. Observed circulating numbers of gametocytes in the human host are often surprisingly low. A pre-fertilization behavior, such as skin sequestration, has been hypothesized to explain the efficiency of human-to-mosquito transmission but has not been sufficiently tested due to a lack of appropriate tools. In this study, we describe the optimization of a qPCR tool that enables the relative quantification of gametocytes within very small input samples. Such a tool allows for the quantification of gametocytes in different compartments of the host and the vector that could potentially unravel mechanisms that enable highly efficient malaria transmission. We demonstrate the use of our gametocyte quantification method in mosquito blood meals from both direct skin feeding on Plasmodium gametocyte carriers and standard membrane feeding assay. Relative gametocyte abundance was not different between mosquitoes fed through a membrane or directly on the skin suggesting that there is no systematic enrichment of gametocytes picked up in the skin.
    Keywords:  Plasmodium falciparum; gametocyte; malaria; mosquito feeding; transmission
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.00246
  15. Viruses. 2020 Mar 09. pii: E296. [Epub ahead of print]12(3):
    Durand GA, Piorkowski G, Thirion L, Ninove L, Giron S, Zandotti C, Denis J, Badaut C, Failloux AB, Grard G, Leparc-Goffart I, de Lamballerie X.
      Three autochthonous cases of Zika virus occurred in southern France in August 2019. Diagnosis relied on serology and transcription-mediated amplification. Attempts for virus isolation and ZIKV genome RT-PCR detection remained negative. Since the index case was not identified, we addressed the issue of genotyping and geographical origin by performing hemi-nested PCR and sequencing in the Pr gene. Analysis of 16 genotype-specific Single Nucleotides Polymorphisms identified the Asian genotype and suggested a Southeast Asia origin.
    Keywords:  Aedes albopictus; France; arbovirus; autochthonous transmission; genotyping; zika
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/v12030296
  16. J Genomics. 2020 ;8 30-36
    Kulkarni A, Yu W, Moon AS, Pandey A, Hanley KA, Xu J.
      In the CRISPR-Cas systems, Cas13a is an RNA-guided RNA nuclease specifically targeting single strand RNA. We developed a Cas13a mediated CRISPR interference tool to target mRNA for gene silencing in mosquitoes. A Cas13a expressing plasmid was delivered to mosquitoes by intrathoracic injection, and Cas13a transcripts were detectable at least 10 days post-delivery. The target specific crRNA was synthesized in vitro using T7 RNA polymerase. The Cas13a plasmid and target crRNA can be delivered by intrathoracic injection together, or the Cas13a construct can be provided first, and then target crRNA can be given later when appropriate. The machinery was tested in two mosquito species. In Anopheles gambiae, vitellogenin gene was silenced by Cas13a/Vg-crRNA, which was accompanied by a significant reduction in egg production. In Aedes aegypti, the α- and δ-subunits of COPI genes were silenced by Cas13a/crRNA, which resulted in mortality and fragile midguts, reproducing a phenotype reported previously. Co-silencing genes simultaneously is achievable when a cocktail of target crRNAs is given. No detectable collateral cleavages of non-target transcripts were observed in the study. In addition to dsRNA or siRNA mediated RNA interference, the programmable CRISPR interference method offers an alternative to knock down genes in mosquitoes.
    Keywords:   Aedes aegypti; Anopheles gambiae; CRISPR-Cas13a; CRISPRi; RNA interference; gene silencing
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.7150/jgen.43928
  17. J Med Entomol. 2020 Mar 19. pii: tjaa049. [Epub ahead of print]
    Anderson JF, Main AJ, Ferrandino FJ.
      West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus) first caused human and veterinary disease, and was isolated from Culex pipiens pipiens L. and Aedes vexans (Meigen) (Diptera: Culicidae) in the United States in 1999. We report that a Connecticut strain of Ae. vexans was competent to transmit West Nile virus both horizontally to suckling mice and vertically to its progeny in the laboratory. Horizontal transmission was first observed on day 6 post-exposure (pe). Daily horizontal transmission rates generally increased with the day post-virus exposure with highest rates of 67-100% recorded on days 28-30 pe. One female vertically transmitted West Nile virus on day 21 pe, but only after it had taken its third bloodmeal. Horizontal and vertical transmission may contribute to West Nile virus infection rates in Ae. vexans in summer, and vertical transmission provides a means of survival of West Nile virus during winter.
    Keywords:   Aedes vexans ; West Nile virus; horizontal transmission; vertical transmission
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjaa049
  18. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Mar 16.
    Ngwe Tun MM, Thuy NTT, Ando T, Dumre SP, Soe AM, Buerano CC, Tuan NM, Nguyen Thanh Nhan L, Van Quang P, Hung NT, Mai LTQ, Morita K, Hasebe F.
      Dengue virus (DENV) infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Vietnam, and the incidence is higher and more consistent in the southern part of the country. This study investigated the circulation of DENV serotypes, viremia levels, immunological status, and cytokine levels, with disease severities among children infected in 2017 in Ho Chi Minh City, Southern Vietnam. Acute and convalescent serum samples were collected from clinically diagnosed dengue children. They were confirmed to have DENV infection by NS1 antigen, IgM and IgG ELISAs, virus isolation, and conventional and real-time RT-PCR. Measurement of 10 cytokine levels was performed in the serum samples. All the children were dengue IgM positive; 28% and 72% of them had primary and secondary DENV infections, respectively, whereas 54% of those with secondary infection were children with dengue with warning signs and with severe dengue. Any or mixed infection of the four serotypes of DENV RNA was detected in 58 children. Twenty DENV strains (DENV-1 = 16 and DENV-4 = 4) were isolated. Levels of IFN-γ, TNF-α, MCP-1, IL-10, and IL-6 were significantly higher in severe dengue cases. We report the predominance of DENV-1 over other serotypes in the 2017 dengue outbreak in Southern Vietnam. Our data showed that cytokine expressions were correlated with dengue pathogenesis and may help in identifying an effective therapeutic strategy.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.19-0607
  19. Infect Genet Evol. 2020 Mar 17. pii: S1567-1348(20)30120-9. [Epub ahead of print] 104289
    Newase P, More A, Patil J, Patil P, Jadhav S, Alagarasu K, Shah P, Parashar D, Cherian SS.
      Since the resurgence of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in India in 2005, the Indian subcontinent sublineage of the Indian Ocean lineage (IOL) has continued transmission in India and also radiation from India causing additional outbreaks in surrounding countries. This study was undertaken for an in-depth understanding of the evolutionary dynamics of the IOL, the global transmission routes in the Indian context and possible association with mutational fitness. The whole genome sequencing of Indian isolates representing CHIKV outbreaks (2014-2018) from selected States of India was carried out, followed by phylogeography analysis of the IOL using the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method and selection pressure analysis. Phylogeography analysis of IOL strains revealed indigenous evolution in India at least at three time points, with specific mutations that conferred viral fitness in the Aedes vector species. Further dispersal of the strains from India was noted to neighbouring and distant countries with multiple exportations to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and China. The study reveals India as an endemic reservoir for CHIKV and persistent global transmissions from India. Though natural selection does not appear to play a major role in establishment of the IOL, sustainable efforts towards vector control can help address the issues.
    Keywords:  Aedes vector; Chikungunya; IOL; India; Phylogeography; Sequencing; Transmission
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2020.104289
  20. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Apr;26(4): 682-691
    Tissera HA, Jayamanne BDW, Raut R, Janaki SMD, Tozan Y, Samaraweera PC, Liyanage P, Ghouse A, Rodrigo C, de Silva AM, Fernando SD.
      In 2017, a dengue epidemic of unexpected magnitude occurred in Sri Lanka. A total of 186,101 suspected cases and 440 dengue-related deaths occurred. We conducted a comprehensive analysis of this epidemic by comparing national surveillance data for 2017 with data from the preceding 5 years. In all Sri Lanka districts, dengue incidence in 2017 increased significantly over incidence during the previous 5 years. Older schoolchildren and young adults were more clinically symptomatic than those at extremes of age. Limited virologic surveillance showed the dominant circulating variant was dengue virus type 2 cosmopolitan genotype in the most affected district. One quarter of total annual cases were reported 5 weeks after the southwest monsoon started. Changes in vector abundance were not predictive of the increased incidence. Direct government expenditures on dengue control activities in 2017 were US $12.7 million. The lessons learned from this outbreak are useful for other tropical nations facing increasing dengue incidence.
    Keywords:  Dengue; Sri Lanka; age group; dengue virus; epidemic; mosquitoes; serotype; surveillance; vector-borne infections; viruses
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2604.190435
  21. Trends Parasitol. 2020 Apr;pii: S1471-4922(20)30021-0. [Epub ahead of print]36(4): 393-403
    Chandrasegaran K, Lahondère C, Escobar LE, Vinauger C.
      Mosquitoes are considered to be the deadliest animals on Earth because the diseases they transmit claim at least a million human lives every year globally. Here, we discuss the scales at which the effects of ecological factors cascade to influence epidemiologically relevant behaviors of adult mosquitoes. In particular, we focused our review on the environmental conditions (coarse-scale variables) that shape the life-history traits of larvae and adult mosquitoes (fine-scale traits), and how these factors and their association, in turn, modulate adult behaviors to influence mosquito-borne disease transmission. Finally, we explore the integration of physical, physiological, and behavioral information into predictive models with epidemiological applications.
    Keywords:  keystone trait; life-history traits; mosquito-borne disease dynamics; predictive modeling; trait-mediated effects
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pt.2020.02.001
  22. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 Mar 16. 14(3): e0007753
    Vera-Maloof FZ, Saavedra-Rodriguez K, Penilla-Navarro RP, D Rodriguez-Ramirez A, Dzul F, Manrique-Saide P, Black WC.
      BACKGROUND: Resistance to pyrethroid insecticides in Aedes aegypti has become widespread after almost two decades of the frequent use of these pesticides to reduce arbovirus transmission. Despite this resistance, pyrethroids continue to be used because they are relatively inexpensive and have low human toxicity. Resistance management has been proposed as a way to retain the use of pyrethroids in natural populations. A key component of resistance management is the assumption that negative fitness is associated with resistance alleles such that resistance alleles will decline in frequency when the insecticides are removed. At least three studies in Ae. aegypti have demonstrated a decrease in pyrethroid resistance once the insecticide has been removed.METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The present study aims to evaluate variation in the loss of pyrethroid resistance among newly established laboratory populations of Ae. aegypti from Mexico. Eight field collections were maintained for up to eight generations, and we recorded changes in the frequencies of the mutations at the V1,016I locus and at the F1,534C locus in the voltage-gated sodium channel gene (VGSC). I1,016 and C1,534 confer resistance. We also examined resistance ratios (RR) with type 1 and 2 pyrethroids.
    CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate that, in general, the frequency of the Ae. aegypti pyrethroid-resistance alleles I1,016 and C1,534 decline when they are freed from pyrethroid pressure in the laboratory. However, the pattern of decline is strain dependent. In agreement with earlier studies, the RR was positively correlated with the frequencies of the resistance allele I1,016 and showed significant protection against permethrin, and deltamethrin, whereas F1,534C showed protection against permethrin but not against deltamethrin.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007753
  23. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Mar 12. pii: E1840. [Epub ahead of print]17(6):
    Ouédraogo M, Kangoye DT, Samadoulougou S, Rouamba T, Donnen P, Kirakoya-Samadoulougou F.
      Reducing the 2015 level of malaria mortality by 90% by 2030 is a goal set by the World Health Organization (WHO). In Burkina Faso, several malaria control programs proven to be effective were implemented over the last decade. In parallel, the progressive strengthening of the health surveillance system is generating valuable data, which represents a great opportunity for analyzing the trends in malaria burden and assessing the effect of these control programs. Complementary programs were rolled out at different time points and paces, and the present work aims at investigating both the spatial and temporal pattern of malaria case fatality rate (mCFR) by considering the effect of combining specific and unspecific malaria control programs. To this end, data on severe malaria cases and malaria deaths, aggregated at health district level between January 2013 and December 2018, were extracted from the national health data repository (ENDOS-BF). A Bayesian spatiotemporal zero-inflated Poisson model was fitted to quantify the strength of the association of malaria control programs with monthly mCFR trends at health district level. The model was adjusted for contextual variables. We found that monthly mCFR decreased from 2.0 (95% IC 1.9-2.1%) to 0.9 (95% IC 0.8-1.0%) deaths for 100 severe malaria cases in 2013 and 2018, respectively. Health districts with high mCFR were identified in the northern, northwestern and southwestern parts of the country. The availability of malaria rapid diagnosis tests (IRR: 0.54; CrI: 0.47, 0.62) and treatment (IRR: 0.50; CrI: 0.41, 0.61) were significantly associated with a reduction in the mCFR. The risk of dying from malaria was lower in the period after the free healthcare policy compared with the period before (IRR: 0.47; CrI: 0.38, 0.58). Our findings highlighted locations that are most in need of targeted interventions and the necessity to sustain and strengthen the launched health programs to further reduce the malaria deaths in Burkina Faso.
    Keywords:  Bayesian; fatality; health programs; malaria; spatiotemporal
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061840
  24. Molecules. 2020 Mar 17. pii: E1359. [Epub ahead of print]25(6):
    Ali A, Tabanca N, Demirci B, Raman V, Budel JM, Baser KHC, Khan IA.
      In our natural products screening program for mosquitoes, we tested essential oils extracted from different plant parts of Magnolia grandiflora L. for their insecticidal and biting deterrent activities against Aedes aegypti. Biting deterrence of seeds essential oil with biting deterrence index value of 0.89 was similar to N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET). All the other oils were active above the solvent control but the activity was significantly lower than DEET. Based on GC-MS analysis, three pure compounds that were only present in the essential oil of seed were further investigated to identify the compounds responsible for biting deterrent activity. 1-Decanol with PNB value of 0.8 was similar to DEET (PNB = 0.8), whereas 1-octanol with PNB value of 0.64 showed biting deterrence lower than 1-decanol and DEET. The activity of 1-heptanol with PNB value of 0.36 was similar to the negative control. Since 1-decanol, which was 3.3% of the seed essential oil, showed biting deterrence similar to DEET as a pure compound, this compound might be responsible for the activity of this oil. In in vitro A & K bioassay, 1-decanol with MED value of 6.25 showed higher repellency than DEET (MED = 12.5). Essential oils of immature and mature fruit showed high toxicity whereas leaf, flower, and seeds essential oils gave only 20%, 0%, and 50% mortality, respectively, at the highest dose of 125 ppm. 1-Decanol with LC50 of 4.8 ppm was the most toxic compound.
    Keywords:  1-decanol; 1-octanol; GC-FID; GC-MS; Magnoliaceae; biopesticides; deterrent; larvicidal activity; mosquito control
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25061359
  25. Malar J. 2020 Mar 18. 19(1): 116
    Mironova VA, Shartova NV, Beljaev AE, Varentsov MI, Korennoy FI, Grishchenko MY.
      BACKGROUND: Between 1999 and 2008 Russia experienced a flare-up of transmission of vivax malaria following its massive importation with more than 500 autochthonous cases in European Russia, the Moscow region being the most affected. The outbreak waned soon after a decrease in importation in mid-2000s and strengthening the control measures. Compared with other post-eradication epidemics in Europe this one was unprecedented by its extension and duration.METHODS: The aim of this study is to identify geographical determinants of transmission. The degree of favourability of climate for vivax malaria was assessed by measuring the sum of effective temperatures and duration of season of effective infectivity using data from 22 weather stations. For geospatial analysis, the locations of each of 405 autochthonous cases detected in Moscow region have been ascertained. A MaxEnt method was used for modelling the territorial differentiation of Moscow region according to the suitability of infection re-emergence based on the statistically valid relationships between the distribution of autochthonous cases and environmental and climatic factors.
    RESULTS: In 1999-2004, in the beginning of the outbreak, meteorological conditions were extremely favourable for malaria in 1999, 2001 and 2002, especially within the borders of the city of Moscow and its immediate surroundings. The greatest number of cases occurred at the northwestern periphery of the city and in the adjoining rural areas. A significant role was played by rural construction activities attracting migrant labour, vegetation density and landscape division. A cut-off altitude of 200 m was observed, though the factor of altitude did not play a significant role at lower altitudes. Most likely, the urban heat island additionally amplified malaria re-introduction.
    CONCLUSION: The malariogenic potential in relation to vivax malaria was high in Moscow region, albeit heterogeneous. It is in Moscow that the most favourable conditions exist for vivax malaria re-introduction in the case of a renewed importation. This recent event of large-scale re-introduction of vivax malaria in a temperate area can serve as a case study for further research.
    Keywords:  Autochthonous cases; Climate favourability; Environmental determinants; Geospatial analysis; Modelling; Re-introduction; Vivax malaria
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-020-03187-8