bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2020‒05‒03
twenty-four papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. mSphere. 2020 Apr 29. pii: e00316-20. [Epub ahead of print]5(2):
    Boyles SM, Mavian CN, Finol E, Ukhanova M, Stephenson CJ, Hamerlinck G, Kang S, Baumgartner C, Geesey M, Stinton I, Williams K, Mathias DK, Prosperi M, Mai V, Salemi M, Buckner EA, Lednicky JA, Rivers AR, Dinglasan RR.
      The incidence of locally acquired dengue infections increased during the last decade in the United States, compelling a sustained research effort concerning the dengue mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, and its microbiome, which has been shown to influence virus transmission success. We examined the "metavirome" of four populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes collected in 2016 to 2017 in Manatee County, FL. Unexpectedly, we discovered that dengue virus serotype 4 (DENV4) was circulating in these mosquito populations, representing the first documented case of such a phenomenon in the absence of a local DENV4 human case in this county over a 2-year period. We confirmed that all of the mosquito populations carried the same DENV4 strain, assembled its full genome, validated infection orthogonally by reverse transcriptase PCR, traced the virus origin, estimated the time period of its introduction to the Caribbean region, and explored the viral genetic signatures and mosquito-specific virome associations that potentially mediated DENV4 persistence in mosquitoes. We discuss the significance of prolonged maintenance of the DENV4 infections in A. aegypti that occurred in the absence of a DENV4 human index case in Manatee County with respect to the inability of current surveillance paradigms to detect mosquito vector infections prior to a potential local outbreak.IMPORTANCE Since 1999, dengue outbreaks in the continental United States involving local transmission have occurred only episodically and only in Florida and Texas. In Florida, these episodes appear to be coincident with increased introductions of dengue virus into the region through human travel and migration from countries where the disease is endemic. To date, the U.S. public health response to dengue outbreaks has been largely reactive, and implementation of comprehensive arbovirus surveillance in advance of predictable transmission seasons, which would enable proactive preventative efforts, remains unsupported. The significance of our finding is that it is the first documented report of DENV4 transmission to and maintenance within a local mosquito vector population in the continental United States in the absence of a human case during two consecutive years. Our data suggest that molecular surveillance of mosquito populations in high-risk, high-tourism areas of the United States may enable proactive, targeted vector control before potential arbovirus outbreaks.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti ; DENV4; arbovirus; dengue virus serotype 4; flavivirus; insect-specific viruses; mosquito; surveillance; transmission
  2. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2020 Apr 23. pii: S1477-8939(20)30159-9. [Epub ahead of print] 101691
    Bellini R, Michaelakis A, Petrić D, Schaffner F, Alten B, Angelini P, Aranda C, Becker N, Carrieri M, Di Luca M, Fălcuţă E, Flacio E, Klobučar A, Lagneau C, Merdić E, Mikov O, Pajovic I, Papachristos D, Sousa CA, Stroo A, Toma L, Vasquez MI, Velo E, Venturelli C, Zgomba M.
      Aedes albopictus, also known as the "Asian Tiger Mosquito", is an invasive mosquito species to Europe causing high concern in public health due to its severe nuisance and its vectorial capacity for pathogens such as dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika. Consequently, the responsible authorities implement management activities to reduce its population density, possibly to below noxious and epidemiological thresholds. In urban areas, these aims are difficult to achieve because of the species' ability to develop in a wide range of artificial breeding sites, mainly private properties. This document (Management Plan) has been structured to serve as a comprehensive practical and technical guide for stakeholders in organizing the vector control activities in the best possible way. The current plan includes coordinated actions such as standardized control measures and quality control activities, monitoring protocols, activities for stakeholders and local communities, and an emergency vector control plan to reduce the risk of an epidemic.
  3. Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 27. 10(1): 7018
    Pollard EJM, MacLaren D, Russell TL, Burkot TR.
      Malaria transmission after universal access and use of malaria preventive services is known as residual malaria transmission. The concurrent spatial-temporal distributions of people and biting mosquitoes in malaria endemic villages determines where and when residual malaria transmission occurs. Understanding human and vector population behaviors and movements is a critical first step to prevent mosquito bites to eliminate residual malaria transmission. This study identified where people in the Solomon Islands are over 24-hour periods. Participants (59%) were predominantly around the house but not in their house when most biting by Anopheles farauti, the dominant malaria vector, occurs. While 84% of people slept under a long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net (LLIN), on average only 7% were under an LLIN during the 18:00 to 21:00 h peak mosquito biting period. On average, 34% of participants spend at least one night away from their homes each fortnight. Despite high LLIN use while sleeping, most human biting by An. farauti occurs early in the evening before people go to sleep when people are in peri-domestic areas (predominantly on verandas or in kitchen areas). Novel vector control tools that protect individuals from mosquito bites between sundown and when people sleep are needed for peri-domestic areas.
  4. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(4): e0232192
    Itokawa K, Hu J, Sukehiro N, Tsuda Y, Komagata O, Kasai S, Tomita T, Minakawa N, Sawabe K.
      The introduction of exotic disease vectors into a new habitat can drastically change the local epidemiological situation. During 2012-2015, larvae and an adult of the yellow-fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, were captured alive at two international airports serving the Greater Tokyo Area, Japan. Because this species does not naturally distribute in this country, those mosquitoes were considered to be introduced from overseas via air-transportation. To infer the places of origin of those mosquitoes, we genotyped the 12 microsatellite loci for which the most comprehensive population genetic reference is currently available. Although clustering by Bayesian and multivariate methods both suggested that all those mosquitoes captured at the airports in Japan belonged to the Asia/Pacific populations, they were not clustered into a single cluster. Moreover, there was variation in mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene (CoxI) haplotypes among mosquitoes collected in different incidents of discovery which indicated the existence of multiple maternal origins. We conclude there is little evidence to support the overwintering of Ae. aegypti at the airports; nevertheless, special attention is still needed to prevent the invasion of this prominent arbovirus vector.
  5. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2020 May 01. 14(5): e0008284
    Fotakis EA, Mastrantonio V, Grigoraki L, Porretta D, Puggioli A, Chaskopoulou A, Osório H, Weill M, Bellini R, Urbanelli S, Vontas J.
      BACKGROUND: Diflubenzuron (DFB) is one of the most used insecticides in mosquito larval control including that of Culex pipiens, the proven vector of the recent West Nile Virus epidemics in Europe. Two mutations (I1043L and I1043M) in the chitin synthase (CHS) putative binding site of DFB have been previously reported in Cx. pipiens from Italy and associated with high levels of resistance against this larvicide.METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we report the identification of a third mutation at the same I1043 position of the CHS gene resulting in the substitution of Isoleucine to Phenylalanine (I1043F). This mutation has also been found in agricultural pests and has been functionally validated with genome editing in Drosophila, showing to confer striking levels (>15,000 fold) of DFB resistance. The frequency of the I1043F mutation was found to be substantially higher in Cx. pipiens mosquitoes surviving DFB doses largely exceeding the recommended field dose, raising concerns about the future efficient use of this insecticide. We monitored the presence and frequency of DFB mutations in Cx. pipiens mosquitoes from several Mediterranean countries, including Italy, France, Greece, Portugal and Israel. Among the Cx. pipiens populations collected in Northern Italy all but one had at least one of the three DFB mutations at allele frequencies reaching 93.3% for the I1043M, 64.8% for the I1043L and 10% for the I1043F. The newly reported I1043F mutation was also identified in two heterozygote individuals from France (4.2% allelic frequency). In contrast to Italy and France, no DFB resistant mutations were identified in the Cx. pipiens mosquitoes sampled from Greece, Portugal and Israel.
    CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The findings of our study are of major concern for mosquito control programs in Europe, that rely on the use of a limited number of available larvicides, and highlight the necessity for the development of appropriate Insecticide Resistance Management (IRM) programs, to ensure the sustainable use of DFB.
  6. Parasit Vectors. 2020 Apr 26. 13(1): 217
    Ibáñez-Justicia A, Alcaraz-Hernández JD, van Lammeren R, Koenraadt CJM, Bergsma A, Delucchi L, Rizzoli A, Takken W.
      BACKGROUND: In the Netherlands, Aedes albopictus has been found each year since 2010 during routine exotic mosquito species surveillance at companies that import used tires. We developed habitat suitability models to investigate the potential risk of establishment and spread of this invasive species at these locations.METHODS: We used two methodologies: first, a species distribution model based on the maximum entropy modelling approach (MaxEnt) taking into consideration updated occurrence data of the species in Europe, and secondly, a spatial logic conditional model based on the temperature requirements of the species and using land surface temperature data (LST model).
    RESULTS: Suitability assessment obtained with the MaxEnt model at European level accurately reflect the current distribution of the species and these results also depict moderately low values in parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, the British islands and southern parts of Scandinavia. Winter temperature was the variable that contributed most to the performance of the model (47.3%). The results of the LST model showed that: (i) coastal areas are suitable for overwintering of eggs; (ii) large areas in the northern part of the country have a low suitability for adult survival; and (iii) the entire country is suitable for successful completion of the life-cycle if the species is introduced after the winter months. Results of the LST model revealed that temperatures in 2012 and 2014 did not limit the overwintering of eggs or survival of adults at the locations where the species was found. By contrast, for the years 2010, 2011 and 2013, overwintering of eggs at these locations is considered unlikely.
    CONCLUSIONS: Results using two modelling methodologies show differences in predicted habitat suitability values. Based on the results of both models, the climatic conditions could hamper the successful overwintering of eggs of Ae. albopictus and their survival as adults in many areas of the country. However, during warm years with mild winters, many areas of the Netherlands offer climatic conditions suitable for developing populations. Regular updates of the models, using updated occurrence and climatic data, are recommended to study the areas at risk.
    Keywords:  GIS; Habitat suitability models; Invasive mosquitoes; Land surface temperature; MaxEnt
  7. Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 27. 10(1): 7060
    Wangdi K, Xu Z, Suwannatrai AT, Kurscheid J, Lal A, Namgay R, Glass K, Gray DJ, Clements ACA.
      At a time when Bhutan is on the verge of malaria elimination, the aim of this study was to identify malaria clusters at high geographical resolution and to determine its association with local environmental characteristics. Malaria cases from 2006-2014 were obtained from the Vector-borne Disease Control Program under the Ministry of Health, Bhutan. A Zero-Inflated Poisson multivariable regression model with a conditional autoregressive (CAR) prior structure was developed. Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation with Gibbs sampling was used to estimate posterior parameters. A total of 2,062 Plasmodium falciparum and 2,284 Plasmodium vivax cases were reported during the study period. Both species of malaria showed seasonal peaks with decreasing trend. Gender and age were not associated with the transmission of either species of malaria. P. falciparum increased by 0.7% (95% CrI: 0.3%, 0.9%) for a one mm increase in rainfall, while climatic variables (temperature and rainfall) were not associated with P. vivax. Insecticide treated bed net use and residual indoor insecticide coverage were unaccounted for in this study. Hot spots and clusters of both species were isolated in the central southern part of Bhutan bordering India. There was significant residual spatial clustering after accounting for climate and demographic variables.
  8. Pathogens. 2020 Apr 23. pii: E310. [Epub ahead of print]9(4):
    Dahmana H, Mediannikov O.
      Deadly pathogens and parasites are transmitted by vectors and the mosquito is considered the most threatening vector in public health, transmitting these pathogens to humans and animals. We are currently witnessing the emergence/resurgence in new regions/populations of the most important mosquito-borne diseases, such as arboviruses and malaria. This resurgence may be the consequence of numerous complex parameters, but the major cause remains the mismanagement of insecticide use and the emergence of resistance. Biological control programmes have rendered promising results but several highly effective techniques, such as genetic manipulation, remain insufficiently considered as a control mechanism. Currently, new strategies based on attractive toxic sugar baits and new agents, such as Wolbachia and Asaia, are being intensively studied for potential use as alternatives to chemicals. Research into new insecticides, Insect Growth Regulators, and repellent compounds is pressing, and the improvement of biological strategies may provide key solutions to prevent outbreaks, decrease the danger to at-risk populations, and mitigate resistance.
    Keywords:  Asaia; Bacillus; Wolbachia; biological control; insecticide resistance; mosquito-borne disease; paratransgenesis; pest control
  9. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Apr 27.
    Lippi CA, Stewart-Ibarra AM, Romero M, Hinds AQJ, Lowe R, Mahon R, Van Meerbeeck CJ, Rollock L, Gittens-St Hilaire M, Trotman AR, Holligan D, Kirton S, Borbor-Cordova MJ, Ryan SJ.
      Dengue fever and other febrile mosquito-borne diseases place considerable health and economic burdens on small island nations in the Caribbean. Here, we used two methods of cluster detection to find potential hotspots of transmission of dengue and chikungunya in Barbados, and to assess the impact of input surveillance data and methodology on observed patterns of risk. Using Moran's I and spatial scan statistics, we analyzed the geospatial and temporal distribution of disease cases and rates across Barbados for dengue fever in 2013-2016, and a chikungunya outbreak in 2014. During years with high numbers of dengue cases, hotspots for cases were found with Moran's I in the south and central regions in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Using smoothed disease rates, clustering was detected in all years for dengue. Hotspots suggesting higher rates were not detected via spatial scan statistics, but coldspots suggesting lower than expected rates of disease activity were found in southwestern Barbados during high case years of dengue. No significant spatiotemporal structure was found in cases during the chikungunya outbreak. Spatial analysis of surveillance data is useful in identifying outbreak hotspots, potentially complementing existing early warning systems. We caution that these methods should be used in a manner appropriate to available data and reflecting explicit public health goals-managing for overall case numbers or targeting anomalous rates for further investigation.
  10. Malar J. 2020 Apr 30. 19(1): 169
    Wat'senga F, Agossa F, Manzambi EZ, Illombe G, Mapangulu T, Muyembe T, Clark T, Niang M, Ntoya F, Sadou A, Plucinski M, Li Y, Messenger LA, Fornadel C, Oxborough RM, Irish SR.
      BACKGROUND: Between 2011 and 2018, an estimated 134.8 million pyrethroid-treated long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) were distributed nationwide in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for malaria control. Pyrethroid resistance has developed in DRC in recent years, but the intensity of resistance and impact on LLIN efficacy was not known. Therefore, the intensity of resistance of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) to permethrin and deltamethrin was monitored before and after a mass distribution of LLINs in Kinshasa in December 2016, and in 6 other sites across the country in 2017 and 11 sites in 2018.METHODS: In Kinshasa, CDC bottle bioassays using 1, 2, 5, and 10 times the diagnostic dose of permethrin and deltamethrin were conducted using An. gambiae s.l. collected as larvae and reared to adults. Bioassays were conducted in four sites in Kinshasa province 6 months before a mass distribution of deltamethrin-treated LLINs and then two, six, and 10 months after the distribution. One site in neighbouring Kongo Central province was used as a control (no mass campaign of LLIN distribution during the study). Nationwide intensity assays were conducted in six sites in 2017 using CDC bottle bioassays and in 11 sites in 2018 using WHO intensity assays. A sub-sample of An. gambiae s.l. was tested by PCR to determine species composition and frequency of kdr-1014F and 1014S alleles.
    RESULTS: In June 2016, before LLIN distribution, permethrin resistance intensity was high in Kinshasa; the mean mortality rate was 43% at the 5× concentration and 73% at the 10× concentration. Bioassays at 3 time points after LLIN distribution showed considerable variation by site and time and there was no consistent evidence for an increase in pyrethroid resistance intensity compared to the neighbouring control site. Tests of An. gambiae s.l. in 6 sites across the country in 2017 and 11 sites in 2018 showed all populations were resistant to the diagnostic doses of 3 pyrethroids. In 2018, the intensity of resistance varied by site, but was generally moderate for all three pyrethroids, with survivors at ×5 the diagnostic dose. Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (s.s.) was the most common species identified across 11 sites in DRC, but in Kinshasa, An. gambiae s.s. (91%) and Anopheles coluzzii (8%) were sympatric.
    CONCLUSIONS: Moderate or high intensity pyrethroid resistance was detected nationwide in DRC and is a serious threat to sustained malaria control with pyrethroid LLINs. Next generation nets (PBO nets or bi-treated nets) should be considered for mass distribution.
    Keywords:  Anopheles gambiae; CDC bottle bioassay; Democratic Republic of Congo; Pyrethroid; Resistance intensity; WHO susceptibility test
  11. Insect Mol Biol. 2020 Apr 27.
    Weng SC, Shiao SH.
      Mosquitoes must feed on vertebrate blood for egg development. As a consequence, some mosquito species are vectors for pathogens that cause devastating diseases in humans. Hence, understanding the mechanisms that control egg developmental cycles is important for developing novel approaches for the control of mosquito-borne diseases. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a cellular stress response related to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. The UPR is activated in response to an accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins in the ER. Massive proteins have been shown to be produced during egg development, and it is obvious that unfolded or misfolded proteins may arise during vitellogenesis. It has been shown that autophagy in the mosquito fat body plays a central role in the progression of gonadotrophic cycles in the mosquito Aedes aegypti. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the induction of UPR and the correlation between UPR and autophagy remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that autophagy is activated during vitellogenesis and that the activation of autophagy is correlated with the UPR. We also show that the expressions of UPR and autophagy can be induced in an in vitro fat body culture system through an amino acid treatment. In addition, the expressions of UPR, autophagy-specific markers, and vitellogenin (Vg) were also induced during dithiothreitol (DTT) treatment. Interestingly, the silencing of UPR-related genes significantly reduced the expression of autophagy-specific markers and inhibited mosquito fecundity. Taken together, we conclude that autophagy-mediated egg production in the mosquito A. aegypti is regulated by UPR. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; autophagy; unfolded protein response; vitellogenesis
  12. Mol Cell Probes. 2020 Apr 24. pii: S0890-8508(20)30225-5. [Epub ahead of print] 101579
    Fahmy NT, Osman A, Badr MS, Morcos N, Diclaro JW, Abd-ElSamie EM.
      Over the past decades, the extensive use of pyrethroids insecticides for vector control has resulted in the development of insecticide resistance. Cytochrome P450 has been recognized to play a critical role in the metabolic detoxification of insecticides. In the current study, Culex pipiens mosquitoes were collected from Giza Governorate in Egypt and tested for insecticide susceptibility against deltamethrin. First detection of Knockdown resistance gene (Kdr) mutations in field collected mosquitoes was performed. Activities of cytochrome oxidase P450 detoxification enzyme that synchronized with the resistance development, was assessed. Expression profiles of cytochrome P450s and their putative corresponding regulating miRNAs, which was previously reported in Cx. pipiens pallens were evaluated in pyrethroid resistant field-collected Cx. pipiens using RT-qPCR and stem-loop RT-qPCR, respectively. Specific stem-loop reverse transcription primers and forward primers were designed for miRNAs profiling. Our results elucidated the pyrethroid resistance development and revealed its relation to the metabolic and target site modification mechanisms with a first report of L1014F-kdr mutation detection. RT-qPCR results have showed an up-regulation in the expression of the studied P450 transcripts. Negative correlations were found between the expression of P450s and their regulatory miRNAs except for CYP9J35, where positive correlation was found with its corresponding miR-13. Interestingly, our data was the first to detect negative correlation between miR-285 and its putative CYP6Cp1 target gene. These findings highlighted the significance of identifying P450 gene along with regulatory miRNAs as a key mechanism implicated in pyrethroid resistance in field Culex vector population. The elucidation of this mechanism would shed light on the development of insecticide resistance and would help in shaping strategies to combat such vectors.
    Keywords:  Culex pipiens; Cytochrome P450; Expression profiling; Pyrethroid; Resistance; microRNA
  13. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Apr 29. pii: traa021. [Epub ahead of print]
    Enslen AW, Lima Neto AS, Castro MC.
      BACKGROUND: Aedes aegypti rapid larval surveys are mandatory in Brazil. Here, we retrospectively examined whether the house index estimated by larval surveys served as a useful tool in anticipating epidemics within Brazilian municipalities from 2009-2015.METHODS: We used correlation indices and classification analysis stratified by year, region, population size and time after the national larval survey.
    RESULTS: We found no association between the house index and the proportion of municipalities experiencing an epidemic. The sensitivity of a high score house index in predicting an epidemic was 7.20% (95% CI 6.22 to 8.33%) for all years combined. The positive predictive value of a high score house index to predict a 'true epidemic' was 38.96%, lower than the negative predictive values of a low score house index for predicting 'no epidemic' (56.96%). The highest overall sensitivity was observed in the North region (20.15%; 95% CI 17.14 to 23.53%). The sensitivity of a high score house index demonstrated a monotonic decrease with increasing time from larval collection.
    CONCLUSIONS: Larval surveys are surveillance tools with the potential to risk-stratify and guide dengue control programs towards judicious resource allocation. However, the national rapid larval survey performed in Brazil, in its present form, consistently underpredicts dengue epidemics.
    Keywords:   Aedes aegypti ; dengue; house index; rapid larval survey
  14. Vaccine. 2020 Apr 23. pii: S0264-410X(20)30470-9. [Epub ahead of print]
    Girard M, Nelson CB, Picot V, Gubler DJ.
      A conference on «ARBOVIRUSES, A GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT» was organized on June 20-22, 2018 at the Merieux Foundation Conference Center in Veyrier du Lac, France, to review and raise awareness to the global public health threat of epidemic arboviruses, and to advance the discussion on the control and prevention of arboviral diseases. The presentations by scientists and public health officials from Asia, the Americas, Europe and Africa strengthened the notion that arboviral diseases of both humans and domestic animals are progressively becoming dominant public health problems in the world. The repeated occurrence of recent deadly epidemics strongly reinforces the call for action against these viral diseases, and the need for developing effective vaccines, drugs, vector control tools and strong prevention programs.
    Keywords:  Aedes mosquitoes; Arboviruses; Chikungunya virus; Dengue virus; Flaviviruses; West Nile virus; Yellow fever virus; Zika virus
  15. Nat Commun. 2020 May 01. 11(1): 2130
    Iwamura T, Guzman-Holst A, Murray KA.
      Vector-borne diseases remain a major contributor to the global burden of disease, while climate change is expected to exacerbate their risk. Characterising vector development rate and its spatio-temporal variation under climate change is central to assessing the changing basis of human disease risk. We develop a mechanistic phenology model and apply it to Aedes aegypti, an invasive mosquito vector for arboviruses (e.g. dengue, zika and yellow fever). The model predicts the number of life-cycle completions (LCC) for a given location per unit time based on empirically derived biophysical responses to environmental conditions. Results suggest that the world became ~1.5% more suitable per decade for the development of Ae. aegypti during 1950-2000, while this trend is predicted to accelerate to 3.2-4.4% per decade by 2050. Invasion fronts in North America and China are projected to accelerate from ~2 to 6 km/yr by 2050. An increase in peak LCC combined with extended periods suitable for mosquito development is simulated to accelerate the vector's global invasion potential.
  16. Viruses. 2020 Apr 28. pii: E493. [Epub ahead of print]12(5):
    Kampen H, Holicki CM, Ziegler U, Groschup MH, Tews BA, Werner D.
      In 2018, West Nile virus (WNV) broke out for the first time in Germany, with continuation of the epidemic in 2019, involving birds, horses and humans. To identify vectors and characterize the virus, mosquitoes were collected in both years in zoological gardens and on a horse meadow immediately following the diagnosis of disease cases in birds and horses. Mosquitoes were identified and screened for WNV by qRT-PCR, with virus-positive samples being sequenced for the viral envelope protein gene. While no positive mosquitoes were found in 2018, seven mosquito pools tested positive for WNV in 2019 in the Tierpark (Wildlife Park) Berlin. The pools consisted of Cx. pipiens biotype pipiens (n = 5), and a mixture of Cx. p. biotype pipiens and Cx. p. biotype molestus (n = 2), or hybrids of these, and were collected between 13 August and 24 September 2019. The virus strain turned out to be nearly identical to two WNV strains isolated from birds diseased in 2018 in eastern Germany. The findings represent the first demonstration of WNV in mosquitoes in Germany and include the possibility of local overwintering of the virus.
    Keywords:  Culex pipiens; Germany; West Nile virus; first report; mosquito vectors; overwintering; transmission
  17. Lancet. 2020 04 25. pii: S0140-6736(20)30470-0. [Epub ahead of print]395(10233): 1361-1373
    Hsiang MS, Ntuku H, Roberts KW, Dufour MK, Whittemore B, Tambo M, McCreesh P, Medzihradsky OF, Prach LM, Siloka G, Siame N, Gueye CS, Schrubbe L, Wu L, Scott V, Tessema S, Greenhouse B, Erlank E, Koekemoer LL, Sturrock HJW, Mwilima A, Katokele S, Uusiku P, Bennett A, Smith JL, Kleinschmidt I, Mumbengegwi D, Gosling R.
      BACKGROUND: In low malaria-endemic settings, screening and treatment of individuals in close proximity to index cases, also known as reactive case detection (RACD), is practised for surveillance and response. However, other approaches could be more effective for reducing transmission. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of reactive focal mass drug administration (rfMDA) and reactive focal vector control (RAVC) in the low malaria-endemic setting of Zambezi (Namibia).METHODS: We did a cluster-randomised controlled, open-label trial using a two-by-two factorial design of 56 enumeration area clusters in the low malaria-endemic setting of Zambezi (Namibia). We randomly assigned these clusters using restricted randomisation to four groups: RACD only, rfMDA only, RAVC plus RACD, or rfMDA plus RAVC. RACD involved rapid diagnostic testing and treatment with artemether-lumefantrine and single-dose primaquine, rfMDA involved presumptive treatment with artemether-lumefantrine, and RAVC involved indoor residual spraying with pirimiphos-methyl. Interventions were administered within 500 m of index cases. To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions targeting the parasite reservoir in humans (rfMDA vs RACD), in mosquitoes (RAVC vs no RAVC), and in both humans and mosquitoes (rfMDA plus RAVC vs RACD only), an intention-to-treat analysis was done. For each of the three comparisons, the primary outcome was the cumulative incidence of locally acquired malaria cases. This trial is registered with, number NCT02610400.
    FINDINGS: Between Jan 1, 2017, and Dec 31, 2017, 55 enumeration area clusters had 1118 eligible index cases that led to 342 interventions covering 8948 individuals. The cumulative incidence of locally acquired malaria was 30·8 per 1000 person-years (95% CI 12·8-48·7) in the clusters that received rfMDA versus 38·3 per 1000 person-years (23·0-53·6) in the clusters that received RACD; 30·2 per 1000 person-years (15·0-45·5) in the clusters that received RAVC versus 38·9 per 1000 person-years (20·7-57·1) in the clusters that did not receive RAVC; and 25·0 per 1000 person-years (5·2-44·7) in the clusters that received rfMDA plus RAVC versus 41·4 per 1000 person-years (21·5-61·2) in the clusters that received RACD only. After adjusting for imbalances in baseline and implementation factors, the incidence of malaria was lower in clusters receiving rfMDA than in those receiving RACD (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0·52 [95% CI 0·16-0·88], p=0·009), lower in clusters receiving RAVC than in those that did not (0·48 [0·16-0·80], p=0·002), and lower in clusters that received rfMDA plus RAVC than in those receiving RACD only (0·26 [0·10-0·68], p=0·006). No serious adverse events were reported.
    INTERPRETATION: In a low malaria-endemic setting, rfMDA and RAVC, implemented alone and in combination, reduced malaria transmission and should be considered as alternatives to RACD for elimination of malaria.
    FUNDING: Novartis Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Horchow Family Fund.
  18. Malar J. 2020 May 01. 19(1): 170
    Ryan SJ, Lippi CA, Zermoglio F.
      BACKGROUND: Malaria continues to be a disease of massive burden in Africa, and the public health resources targeted at surveillance, prevention, control, and intervention comprise large outlays of expense. Malaria transmission is largely constrained by the suitability of the climate for Anopheles mosquitoes and Plasmodium parasite development. Thus, as climate changes, shifts in geographic locations suitable for transmission, and differing lengths of seasons of suitability will occur, which will require changes in the types and amounts of resources.METHODS: The shifting geographic risk of malaria transmission was mapped, in context of changing seasonality (i.e. endemic to epidemic, and vice versa), and the number of people affected. A published temperature-dependent model of malaria transmission suitability was applied to continental gridded climate data for multiple future AR5 climate model projections. The resulting outcomes were aligned with programmatic needs to provide summaries at national and regional scales for the African continent. Model outcomes were combined with population projections to estimate the population at risk at three points in the future, 2030, 2050, and 2080, under two scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5).
    RESULTS: Estimated geographic shifts in endemic and seasonal suitability for malaria transmission were observed across all future scenarios of climate change. The worst-case regional scenario (RCP8.5) of climate change predicted an additional 75.9 million people at risk from endemic (10-12 months) exposure to malaria transmission in Eastern and Southern Africa by the year 2080, with the greatest population at risk in Eastern Africa. Despite a predominance of reduction in season length, a net gain of 51.3 million additional people is predicted be put at some level of risk in Western Africa by midcentury.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study provides an updated view of potential malaria geographic shifts in Africa under climate change for the more recent climate model projections (AR5), and a tool for aligning findings with programmatic needs at key scales for decision-makers. In describing shifting seasonality, it was possible to capture transitions between endemic and epidemic risk areas, to facilitate the planning for interventions aimed at year-round risk versus anticipatory surveillance and rapid response to potential outbreak locations.
    Keywords:  Africa; Anopheles; Climate change; Malaria; Temperature
  19. Folia Parasitol (Praha). 2020 Apr 16. pii: 2020.007. [Epub ahead of print]67
    Chaiphongpachara T, Laojun S.
      In Thailand, Anopheles (Cellia) epiroticus Linton et Harbach (Diptera: Culicidae) is the secondary vector of human malaria along coastal regions. While there are some studies of phenotypic variability and population structure of A. epiroticus, more information on morphological variation would enhance epidemiological understanding of medically important mosquito vectors. This research examined morphological variation at three different distances from coastlines of Samut Songkhram Province, Thailand, using landmark-based geometric morphometrics. Wing shape of A. epiroticus was significantly different in the area 0.2 km away from the sea compared to areas 2 and 4 km away from the sea (p < 0.05). Phenotypic variability in wing shape is associated with distance from the sea. Morphological variations in the area closest to the sea were most pronounced, showing a relationship between A. epiroticus and the ecosystem that affects wing geometry. These results provide important information to understand morphological variation of A. epiroticus in coastal areas.
    Keywords:  Mosquito; coastal environment; geometric morphometrics.; microevolution; morphological variability
  20. Front Microbiol. 2020 ;11 605
    Chen S, Zhang D, Augustinos A, Doudoumis V, Bel Mokhtar N, Maiga H, Tsiamis G, Bourtzis K.
      Insect symbionts are major manipulators of host's behavior. Their effect on parameters such as fecundity, male mating competitiveness, and biological quality in general, can have a major influence on the effectiveness of the sterile insect technique (SIT). SIT is currently being developed and applied against human disease vectors, including Ae. albopictus, as an environment-friendly method of population suppression, therefore there is a renewed interest on both the characterization of gut microbiota and their exploitation in artificial rearing. In the present study, bacterial communities of eggs, larvae, and adults (both males and females) of artificially reared Ae. albopictus, were characterized using both culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches. Mosquito-associated bacteria corresponding to thirteen and five bacteria genera were isolated from the larval food and the sugar solution (adult food), respectively. The symbiont community of the females was affected by the provision of a blood meal. Pseudomonas and Enterobacter were either introduced or enhanced with the blood meal, whereas Serratia were relatively stable during the adult stage of females. Maintenance of these taxa in female guts is probably related with blood digestion. Gut-associated microbiota of males and females were different, starting early after emergence and continuing in older stages. Our results indicate that eggs contained bacteria from more than fifteen genera including Bacillus, Chryseobacterium, and Escherichia-Shigella, which were also main components of gut microbiota of female adults before and after blood feeding, indicating potential transmission among generations. Our results provided a thorough study of the egg- and gut-associated bacteria of artificially reared Ae. albopictus, which can be important for further studies using probiotic bacteria to improve the effectiveness of mosquito artificial rearing and SIT applications.
    Keywords:  Aedes albopictus; SIT; artificial rearing; culture-dependent; culture-independent; gut; microbiota
  21. J Infect Public Health. 2020 Apr 24. pii: S1876-0341(20)30429-9. [Epub ahead of print]
    Gupta N, Yadav PD, Patil DY, Sapkal G.
      Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that has emerged recently and affected in many countries. Since its discovery in Uganda in 1947, two major outbreaks were reported from Yap Islands in 2007 and French Polynesia in 2013. In 2015, the first case of ZIKV infection was confirmed from Brazil followed by a report of cases from American and Caribbean countries. In February 2016, the World Health Organization declared ZIKV infection a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. India reported the first Zika case in 2017. Subsequently, 157 laboratory-confirmed cases of ZIKV including 63 pregnant women were reported from Rajasthan, India in 2018. Since 2014, many countries took initiatives to boost their public health system to combat ZIKV. However, there is still scope for the improvement. This review describes ZIKV outbreaks, diagnostic challenges, surveillance and control measures in India and the future perspective to deal with the ZIKV outbreak in India.
    Keywords:  India; Outbreak; Public health-care system; Surveillance; Zika
  22. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Apr 27.
    Coelho ICB, Haguinet F, Colares JKB, Coelho ZCB, Araújo FMC, Dias Schwarcz W, Duarte AC, Borges B, Minguet C, Guignard A.
      Dengue is endemic in Brazil. The dengue surveillance system's reliance on passive reporting may underestimate disease incidence and cannot detect asymptomatic/pauci-symptomatic cases. In this 3-year prospective cohort study (NCT01391819) in 5- to 13-year-old children from nine schools in Fortaleza (N = 2,117), we assessed dengue virus (DENV) infection seroprevalence by IgG indirect ELISA at yearly visits and disease incidence through active and enhanced passive surveillance. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and DENV IgM/IgG capture ELISA were used for diagnosis. We further characterized confirmed and probable cases with a plaque reduction neutralization test. At enrollment, 54.1% (95% CI: 46.6, 61.4) of children were DENV IgG positive. The annual incidence of laboratory-confirmed symptomatic dengue cases was 11.0 (95% CI: 7.3, 14.7), 18.1 (10.4, 25.7), and 10.2 (0.7, 19.7), and of laboratory-confirmed or probable dengue cases with neutralizing antibody profile evocative of dengue exposure was 13.2 (6.6, 19.9), 18.7 (5.3, 32.2), and 8.4 (2.4, 19.2) per 1,000 child-years in 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively. By RT-qPCR, we identified 14 DENV-4 cases in 2012-2013 and seven DENV-1 cases in 2014. During the course of the study, 32.8% of dengue-naive children experienced a primary infection. Primary inapparent dengue infection was detected in 20.3% (95% CI: 13.6, 29.1) of dengue-naive children in 2012, 8.7% (6.9, 10.9) in 2013, and 5.1% (4.4, 6.0) in 2014. Our results confirmed the high dengue endemicity in Fortaleza, with active and enhanced passive surveillance detecting three to five times more cases than the National System of Disease Notification.
  23. Folia Parasitol (Praha). 2020 Jan 01. pii: 2020.005. [Epub ahead of print]67
    Uspensky I, Braun S.
      We observed instances of cannibalism (intraspecific predation) among intra-instar larvae of Culex pipiens Linnaeus, 1758 while performing a bioassay of Lysinibacillus sphaericus (formerly named Bacillus sphaericus) larvicide, when the larvae were exposed to the larvicide for 48 h in the absence of food. Larvae without symptoms of poisoning attacked and devoured those visibly affected. Cannibalism was more prevalent in 1st-2nd instar larvae than in 3rd-4th instar. This phenomenon should be taken into account when interpreting the results of larvicide bioassays, especially when the exposure lasts over 24 h. The necessity of creating optimal conditions for organisms tested is emphasised.
    Keywords:  Culex pipiens; Lysinibacillus sphaericus (Bacillus sphaericus); bioassay; intraspecific predation; larval feeding; larval starvation