bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2020‒11‒08
twenty-one papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University


  1. Parasit Vectors. 2020 Nov 02. 13(1): 543
    Valentine MJ, Ciraola B, Jacobs GR, Arnot C, Kelly PJ, Murdock CC.
      BACKGROUND: Mosquito surveys that collect local data on mosquito species' abundances provide baseline data to help understand potential host-pathogen-mosquito relationships, predict disease transmission, and target mosquito control efforts.METHODS: We conducted an adult mosquito survey from November 2017 to March 2019 on St. Kitts, using Biogents Sentinel 2 traps, set monthly and run for 48-h intervals. We collected mosquitoes from a total of 30 sites distributed across agricultural, mangrove, rainforest, scrub and urban land covers. We investigated spatial variation in mosquito species richness across the island using a hierarchical Bayesian multi-species occupancy model. We developed a mixed effects negative binomial regression model to predict the effects of spatial variation in land cover, and seasonal variation in precipitation on observed counts of the most abundant mosquito species observed.
    RESULTS: There was high variation among sites in mosquito community structure, and variation in site level richness that correlated with scrub forest, agricultural, and urban land covers. The four most abundant species were Aedes taeniorhynchus, Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegpyti and Deinocerites magnus, and their relative abundance varied with season and land cover. Aedes aegypti was the most commonly occurring mosquito on the island, with a 90% probability of occurring at between 24 and 30 (median = 26) sites. Mangroves yielded the most mosquitoes, with Ae. taeniorhynchus, Cx. quinquefasciatus and De. magnus predominating. Psorophora pygmaea and Toxorhynchites guadeloupensis were only captured in scrub habitat. Capture rates in rainforests were low. Our count models also suggested the extent to which monthly average precipitation influenced counts varied according to species.
    CONCLUSIONS: There is high seasonality in mosquito abundances, and land cover influences the diversity, distribution, and relative abundance of species on St. Kitts. Further, human-adapted mosquito species (e.g. Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus) that are known vectors for many human relevant pathogens (e.g. chikungunya, dengue and Zika viruses in the case of Ae. aegypti; West Nile, Spondweni, Oropouche virus, and equine encephalitic viruses in the case of Cx. quinqefasciatus) are the most wide-spread (across land covers) and the least responsive to seasonal variation in precipitation.
    Keywords:  Caribbean; Land cover; Model; Mosquito; Precipitation; Season; Surveillance
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04421-7
  2. Viruses. 2020 Oct 30. pii: E1231. [Epub ahead of print]12(11):
    Williams AE, Sanchez-Vargas I, Reid WR, Lin J, Franz AWE, Olson KE.
      The resurgence of arbovirus outbreaks across the globe, including the recent Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic in 2015-2016, emphasizes the need for innovative vector control methods. In this study, we investigated ZIKV susceptibility to transgenic Aedes aegypti engineered to target the virus by means of the antiviral small-interfering RNA (siRNA) pathway. The robustness of antiviral effector expression in transgenic mosquitoes is strongly influenced by the genomic insertion locus and transgene copy number; we therefore used CRISPR/Cas9 to re-target a previously characterized locus (Chr2:321382225) and engineered mosquitoes expressing an inverted repeat (IR) dsRNA against the NS3/4A region of the ZIKV genome. Small RNA analysis revealed that the IR effector triggered the mosquito's siRNA antiviral pathway in bloodfed females. Nearly complete (90%) inhibition of ZIKV replication was found in vivo in both midguts and carcasses at 7 or 14 days post-infection (dpi). Furthermore, significantly fewer transgenic mosquitoes contained ZIKV in their salivary glands (p = 0.001), which led to a reduction in the number of ZIKV-containing saliva samples as measured by transmission assay. Our work shows that Ae. aegypti innate immunity can be co-opted to engineer mosquitoes resistant to ZIKV.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; CRISPR/Cas9; RNAi; Zika virus; antiviral immunity; arbovirus; siRNAs; transgenesis
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/v12111231
  3. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2020 Nov 02.
    Im JH, Kim TS, Chung MH, Baek JH, Kwon HY, Lee JS.
      Background: Mosquito-borne diseases in the Republic of Korea have a unique epidemiology due to the rapid improvement in hygiene and economic status, occurrence of four distinct seasons, and separation from North Korea owing to the political situation. Therefore, we aimed to analyze and review the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases in Korea. Methods: The incidence and geographical distribution of malaria, Japanese encephalitis (JE), Zika virus infection, chikungunya fever, and dengue fever were investigated using data from the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lymphatic filariasis and West Nile fever, which have rarely been reported in Korea, have also been discussed in this literature review. Results and Conclusions: Malaria disappeared from Korea in 1979, but since its re-emergence in 1993 there has been constant occurrence with local transmission. In Korea, vivax malaria is the only prevailing disease, and the clinically problematic chloroquine resistance has not been reported. The incidence of JE has greatly reduced since the introduction of the national vaccination program for children in 1985. However, the incidence of JE has been increasing recently, especially in adults >40 years of age. Filariasis, which was previously endemic to Jeju Island and the southern coastal area, has not been reported since 2002. Although there are numerous imported cases with increasing overseas travel, there are still no indigenous cases of Zika, chikungunya, and dengue fever reported in Korea. The West Nile virus was isolated from migratory birds, but there has been only one imported human case to date.
    Keywords:  Japanese encephalitis; Republic of Korea; filariasis; malaria
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2019.2588
  4. Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 04. 10(1): 19063
    Machani MG, Ochomo E, Zhong D, Zhou G, Wang X, Githeko AK, Yan G, Afrane YA.
      The directional selection for insecticide resistance due to indiscriminate use of insecticides in public health and agricultural system favors an increase in the frequency of insecticide-resistant alleles in the natural populations. Similarly, removal of selection pressure generally leads to decay in resistance. Past investigations on the emergence of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes mostly relied on field survey of resistance in vector populations that typically had a complex history of exposure to various public health and agricultural pest control insecticides in nature, and thus the effect of specific insecticides on rate of resistance emergency or resistance decay rate is not known. This study examined the phenotypic, genotypic, and biochemical changes that had occurred during the process of selection for pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles gambiae, the most important malaria vector in Africa. In parallel, we also examined these changes in resistant populations when there is no selection pressure applied. Through repeated deltamethrin selection in adult mosquitoes from a field population collected in western Kenya for 12 generations, we obtained three independent and highly pyrethroid-resistant An. gambiae populations. Three susceptible populations from the same parental population were generated by removing selection pressure. These two lines of mosquito populations differed significantly in monooxygenase and beta-esterase activities, but not in Vgsc gene mutation frequency, suggesting metabolic detoxification mechanism plays a major role in generating moderate-intensity resistance or high-intensity resistance. Pre-exposure to the synergist piperonyl butoxide restored the susceptibility to insecticide among the highly resistant mosquitoes, confirming the role of monooxygenases in pyrethroid resistance. The rate of resistance decay to become fully susceptible from moderate-intensity resistance took 15 generations, supporting at least 2-years interval is needed when the rotational use of insecticides with different modes of action is considered for resistance management.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75865-1
  5. Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 06. 10(1): 19287
    Petruff TA, McMillan JR, Shepard JJ, Andreadis TG, Armstrong PM.
      Historical declines in multiple insect taxa have been documented across the globe in relation to landscape-level changes in land use and climate. However, declines have either not been universally observed in all regions or examined for all species. Because mosquitoes are insects of public health importance, we analyzed a longitudinal mosquito surveillance data set from Connecticut (CT), United States (U.S.) from 2001 to 2019 to identify changes in mosquito community composition over time. We first analyzed annual site-level collections and metrics of mosquito community composition with generalized linear/additive mixed effects models; we also examined annual species-level collections using the same tools. We then examined correlations between statewide collections and weather variables as well as site-level collections and land cover classifications. We found evidence that the average trap night collection of mosquitoes has increased by ~ 60% and statewide species richness has increased by ~ 10% since 2001. Total species richness was highest in the southern portion of CT, likely due to the northward range expansion of multiple species within the Aedes, Anopheles, Culex, and Psorophora genera. How the expansion of mosquito populations in the northeast U.S. will alter mosquito-borne pathogen transmission in the region will require further investigation.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-76231-x
  6. Malar J. 2020 Nov 03. 19(1): 390
    Mutero CM, Okoyo C, Girma M, Mwangangi J, Kibe L, Ng'ang'a P, Kussa D, Diiro G, Affognon H, Mbogo CM.
      BACKGROUND: Malaria prevention in Africa is mainly through the use of long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs). The objective of the study was to assess the effect of supplementing LLINs with either larviciding with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) or community education and mobilization (CEM), or with both interventions in the context of integrated vector management (IVM).METHODS: The study involved a factorial, cluster-randomized, controlled trial conducted in Malindi and Nyabondo sites in Kenya and Tolay site in Ethiopia, to assess the impact of the following four intervention options on mosquitoes and malaria prevalence: LLINs only (arm 1); LLINs and Bti (arm 2); LLINs and CEM (arm 3); and, LLINs combined with Bti and CEM (arm 4). Between January 2013 and December 2015, CDC light traps were used to sample adult mosquitoes during the second, third and fourth quarter of each year in 10 houses in each of 16 villages at each of the three study sites. Larvae were sampled once a fortnight from potential mosquito-breeding habitats using standard plastic dippers. Cross-sectional malaria parasite prevalence surveys were conducted involving a total of 11,846 primary school children during the 3-year period, including 4800 children in Tolay, 3000 in Malindi and 4046 in Nyabondo study sites.
    RESULTS: Baseline relative indoor anopheline density was 0.11, 0.05 and 0.02 mosquitoes per house per night in Malindi, Tolay and Nyabondo sites, respectively. Nyabondo had the highest recorded overall average malaria prevalence among school children at 32.4%, followed by Malindi with 5.7% and Tolay 1.7%. There was no significant reduction in adult anopheline density at each of the three sites, which could be attributed to adding of the supplementary interventions to the usage of LLINs. Malaria prevalence was significantly reduced by 50% in Tolay when using LLINs coupled with application of Bti, community education and mobilization. The two other sites did not reveal significant reduction of prevalence as a result of combining LLINs with any of the other supplementary interventions.
    CONCLUSION: Combining LLINs with larviciding with Bti and CEM further reduced malaria infection in a low prevalence setting in Ethiopia, but not at sites with relatively higher prevalence in Kenya. More research is necessary at the selected sites in Kenya to periodically determine the suite of vector control interventions and broader disease management strategies, which when integrated would further reduce adult anopheline populations and malaria prevalence beyond what is achieved with LLINs.
    Keywords:  Bti; Community education and mobilization; Integrated vector management; Larviciding; Malaria
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-020-03464-6
  7. Front Microbiol. 2020 ;11 559035
    Onyango MG, Attardo GM, Kelly ET, Bialosuknia SM, Stout J, Banker E, Kuo L, Ciota AT, Kramer LD.
      Rapid and significant range expansion of both the Zika virus (ZIKV) and its Aedes vector species has resulted in the declaration of ZIKV as a global health threat. Successful transmission of ZIKV by its vector requires a complex series of interactions between these entities including the establishment, replication and dissemination of the virus within the mosquito. The metabolic conditions within the mosquito tissues play a critical role in mediating the crucial processes of viral infection and replication and represent targets for prevention of virus transmission. In this study, we carried out a comprehensive metabolomic phenotyping of ZIKV infected and uninfected Ae. albopictus by untargeted analysis of primary metabolites, lipids and biogenic amines. We performed a comparative metabolomic study of infection state with the aim of understanding the biochemical changes resulting from the interaction between the ZIKV and its vector. We have demonstrated that ZIKV infection results in changes to the cellular metabolic environment including a significant enrichment of inosine and pseudo-uridine (Ψ) levels which may be associated with RNA editing activity. In addition, infected mosquitoes demonstrate a hypoglycemic phenotype and show significant increases in the abundance of metabolites such as prostaglandin H2, leukotriene D4 and protoporphyrinogen IX which are associated with antiviral activity. These provide a basis for understanding the biochemical response to ZIKV infection and pathology in the vector. Future mechanistic studies targeting these ZIKV infection responsive metabolites and their associated biosynthetic pathways can provide inroads to identification of mosquito antiviral responses with infection blocking potential.
    Keywords:  Aedes albopictus; Zika virus; biogenic amines; lipids; metabolomic phenotyping; primary metabolites
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.559035
  8. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Nov 02.
    Uelmen JA, Irwin P, Bartlett D, Brown W, Karki S, Ruiz MO, Fraterrigo J, Li B, Smith RL.
      Modeling vector-borne diseases is best conducted when heterogeneity among interacting biotic and abiotic processes is captured. However, the successful integration of these complex processes is difficult, hindered by a lack of understanding of how these relationships influence disease transmission across varying scales. West Nile virus (WNV) is the most important mosquito-borne disease in the United States. Vectored by Culex mosquitoes and maintained in the environment by avian hosts, the virus can spill over into humans and horses, sometimes causing severe neuroinvasive illness. Several modeling studies have evaluated drivers of WNV disease risk, but nearly all have done so at broad scales and have reported mixed results of the effects of common explanatory variables. As a result, fine-scale relationships with common explanatory variables, particularly climatic, socioeconomic, and human demographic, remain uncertain across varying spatial extents. Using an interdisciplinary approach and an ongoing 12-year study of the Chicago region, this study evaluated the factors explaining WNV disease risk at high spatiotemporal resolution, comparing the human WNV model and covariate performance across three increasing spatial extents: ultrafine, local, and county scales. Our results demonstrate that as spatial extent increased, model performance increased. In addition, only six of the 23 assessed covariates were included in best-fit models of at least two scales. These results suggest that the mechanisms driving WNV ecology are scale-dependent and covariate importance increases as extent decreases. These tools may be particularly helpful for public health, mosquito, and disease control personnel in predicting and preventing disease within local and fine-scale jurisdictions, before spillover occurs.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.20-0416
  9. Malar J. 2020 Oct 31. 19(1): 385
    Carter R, Karunaweera ND.
      Malaria risk and endemicity is often associated with the nature of human habitation and living environment. The disappearance of malaria from regions where it had been endemic for centuries, such as coastal areas of southern England, has been attributed, at least in part, to improvement in the quality of housing. Moreover, indigenous malaria transmission ceased throughout England without the necessity to eliminate the vector mosquitoes. The principles of malaria transmission, as formulated following the thinking of the pioneers of malaria epidemiology, Ronald Ross and George Macdonald, show how this may happen. Malaria ceases to be sustainable where its reproduction number, R0, the number of new cases generated on average for each existing case of malaria, falls below 1. In the terms of a Ross/Macdonald analysis the reduced contact between humans and blood-feeding mosquitoes that is achieved through housing that is secure against mosquito entry can have a powerful effect in reducing malaria R0. The island of Sri Lanka, where malaria had been endemic probably for centuries previously, has reported no indigenous cases of malaria since 2012. The disappearance of malaria from Sri Lanka followed an effective attack upon malaria transmission by the Sri Lanka Anti Malaria Campaign. The targeted and enhanced efforts of this campaign launched in 1999, drove the malaria R0 below 1 for most of the period up to 2012, leading to a nearly continuous decline in malaria cases until their extinction. The decades leading up to the launch of these efforts were ones of general improvement of living environment and notably in the quality of housing stock. Studies in the late 1980s had shown that quality of housing in a highly malarious district of Sri Lanka was a strong determinant of malaria risk. Through its effects on malaria R0, improved housing is likely to have facilitated the malaria control and cessation of indigenous malaria transmission in Sri Lanka and that it will help reduce the risk of the re-introduction of malaria to the island.
    Keywords:  Housing; Living environment; Malaria control; Malaria elimination; Malaria transmission; Reproduction number; Ross/Macdonald equations; Socio-economic development; Sri Lanka
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-020-03450-y
  10. Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 03. 10(1): 18901
    Reuss F, Kreß A, Braun M, Magdeburg A, Pfenninger M, Müller R, Mehring M.
      Mosquito-borne diseases are a continuous challenge to public health. To prevent transmission, Integrated Vector Management (IVM) applies preventive, control, and communicational strategies that should be feasible, environmentally benign, and sustainable. IVM shows higher efficiency when being supported by local communities. Accordingly, we applied a social-ecological approach to identify the public acceptance of control measures and effectiveness of Eurocent coins containing copper, clove essential oil (EO) and Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). We performed field and laboratory experiments to demonstrate the toxicity of alternative substances against Aedes japonicus japonicus. In expert interviews, we asked for (1) knowledge on exotic mosquitoes in Germany, (2) potential chances of alternative substances in future mosquito control, and (3) their needs for further clarification before application. We assessed potential users' (4) awareness of exotic mosquitoes and (5) willingness to apply the substances. Self-prepared copper coins and EO were clearly preferred by potential users over Bti. However, 100% mortality of the sensitive first stage could not be reached with the number of ten 5-Eurocent coins showing limited toxicity. Clove EO was shown to work as oviposition deterrent and larvicide with a LC50 of 17 mg l-1 (95% CI: 15-19 mg l-1). This study shows the importance of potential users' perspectives in IVM and the need for authorised insecticides.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75780-5
  11. Infect Dis Poverty. 2020 Nov 02. 9(1): 152
    Yougang AP, Kamgang B, Bahun TAW, Tedjou AN, Nguiffo-Nguete D, Njiokou F, Wondji CS.
      BACKGROUND: Aedes borne viral diseases, notably dengue, are increasingly reported in Cameroon with Aedes aegypti being a major vector. Data on insecticide resistance of this vector and underlying mechanisms needed for outbreak preparedness remain scarce in Cameroon. Here, we present the nationwide distribution of insecticide resistance in Ae. aegypti and investigate the potential resistance mechanisms involved.METHODS: Immature stages of Ae. aegypti were collected between March and July 2017 in 13 locations across Cameroon and reared until G1/G2/G3 generation. Larval, adult bioassays, and piperonyl butoxide (PBO) synergist assays were carried out according to World Health Organization guidelines. F1534C mutation was genotyped using allele specific polymerase chain reaction in field collected adults (Go) and the polymorphism of the sodium channel gene was assessed. The χ2 test was used to compare the mortality rate between bioassays with insecticides only and bioassays after preexposure to PBO synergist.
    RESULTS: Larval bioassay revealed that all the three populations tested with temephos were susceptible. Adult bioassays showed a good level of susceptibility toward both pyrethroids tested, 0.25% permethrin and 0.05% deltamethrin, with six out of 10 populations susceptible. However, two populations (Douala and Edéa) were resistant (deltamethrin [73.2-92.5% mortality], permethrin [2.6-76.3% mortality]). The resistance to 4% dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane was observed in four out of 10 populations tested (16.8-87.1% mortality). Resistance was also reported to carbamates including 0.1% propoxur (60.8-87.1% mortality) and to 0.1% bendiocarb (82.9% mortality). All populations tested were fully susceptible to 1% fenitrothion. A partial recovery of susceptibility was observed in the pyrethroid resistant population of Douala after pre-exposed to PBO suggesting the implication of cytochrome P450 monoxygenases permethrin resistance. Genotyping and sequencing detected the F1534C kdr mutation in the two pyrethroid resistant locations of Edéa and Douala, with allelic frequency of 3.3% and 33.3% respectively. However, the high genetic diversity of the sodium channel gene supports the recent introduction of this mutation in Cameroon.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed the contrasting resistance profiles to insecticides of Ae. aegypti populations in Cameroon suggesting that, instead of a unique nationwide control approach, a regionally adapted strategy will be needed to control this vector. The localised distribution of the F1534C kdr mutation supports this region-specific control strategy.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Arbovirus; Cameroon; Insecticide resistance; Kdr mutation
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-020-00769-1
  12. Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 05. 10(1): 19135
    Onyango GM, Bialosuknia MS, Payne FA, Mathias N, Ciota TA, Kramer DL.
      Insect midgut microbial symbionts have been considered as an integral component in thermal adaptation due to their differential thermal sensitivity. Altered midgut microbial communities can influence both insect physiology and competence for important vector-borne pathogens. This study sought to gain insights into how Aedes aegypti midgut microbes and life history traits are affected by increase in baseline diurnal temperature. Increase in temperature resulted in the enrichment of specific taxa with Bacillus being the most enriched. Bacillus is known to be heat tolerant. It also resulted in a dissimilar microbial assemblage (Bray-Curtis Index, PERMANOVA, F = 2.2063; R2 = 0.16706; P = 0.002) and reduced survivorship (Log-rank [Mantel-Cox] test, Chi-square = 35.66 df = 5, P < 0.0001). Blood meal intake resulted in proliferation of pathogenic bacteria such as Elizabethkingia in the midgut of the mosquitoes. These results suggest that alteration of temperature within realistic parameters such as 2 °C for Ae. aegypti in nature may impact the midgut microbiome favoring specific taxa that could alter mosquito fitness, adaptation and vector-pathogen interactions.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-76188-x
  13. J Invertebr Pathol. 2020 Oct 22. pii: S0022-2011(20)30199-3. [Epub ahead of print]177 107493
    Bedini S, Muniz ER, Tani C, Conti B, Ruiu L.
      In order to increase our understanding of the insecticidal potential of the entomopathogenic bacterium Brevibacillus laterosporus strain UNISS 18 against insect pests, investigations were conducted on a selection of dipteran species including fruit flies, house flies, blow flies, and mosquitoes, characterized by adaptations to very diverse habitats. According to lethal concentration (LC50) values, the common house mosquito Culex pipiens (LC50 = 0.10 × 106 spores/mL) and the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti (LC50 = 0.18 × 106 spores/mL) were significantly more susceptible than the flies. The blow flies were the second taxon in term of susceptibility to B. laterosporus spores, with a higher mortality in Calliphora vomitoria (LC50 = 78.84 × 106 spores/mL) than Lucilia caesar (LC50 = 148.30 × 106 spores/mL). The effectiveness of B. laterosporus spores was reduced by half in the house fly Musca domestica (LC50 = 82.41 × 106 spores/mL). The lowest susceptibility was observed in the fruit flies, among which the spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, was the most susceptible (LC50 = 217.51 × 106 spores/mL) in comparison with the medfly Ceratitis capitata and the olive fly Bactrocera oleae (LC50 = 2567.32 and 2567.36 × 106 spores/mL, respectively). The present study demonstrated that significantly different degrees of susceptibility are associated with diverse dipteran species including plant and animal parasites, and we suggest that B. laterosporus established different relationships with dipteran species in different ecosystems.
    Keywords:  Bacteria; Bioinsecticide; Flies; Mosquitoes; Pest management
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jip.2020.107493
  14. Med Mal Infect. 2020 Oct 31. pii: S0399-077X(20)30771-X. [Epub ahead of print]
    de Figueiredo AM, Villegas PS, de Figueiredo DCMM, de Araujo JSS, Daponte A.
      OBJECTIVE: Identify risk factors for microcephaly and evaluate historical trends of microcephaly and arboviruses to recognize patterns and anomalies that indicate the beginning of the microcephaly epidemic associated with Zika infection.METHODS: The head circumferences of 62,298 newborns was analyzed to identify cases of microcephaly between 2014 and 2017. We compared the groups of newborns with normal head circumferences and those with microcephaly to identify risk factors. A time series with the incidences of microcephaly was analyzed to assess the appearance of anomalous values in order to identify the beginning of the microcephaly epidemic. Data on the incidence of dengue fever was used to develop a control chart, aiming to identify changes in incidence and seasonality that could suggest the circulation of a new arbovirus.
    FINDINGS: Premature newborns, children of mothers under 20 years of age and those born in 2014 and 2015 had a higher risk of microcephaly. Three quarters with anomalous incidences of microcephaly were identified, the first in 2014 and the others in 2015. The dengue fever epidemic curve in 2013 shows persistence of high incidences in atypical periods, suggesting the entry of a new virus in the 3rd and 4th quarters.
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings represent epidemiological evidence of the existence of cases of Zika virus between the 2nd quarter of 2013 and the beginning of 2014. The results add new elements to understanding the Zika virus epidemic in the Americas.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medmal.2020.10.024
  15. J Insect Sci. 2020 Nov 01. pii: 21. [Epub ahead of print]20(6):
    Ferreira-de-Freitas L, Thrun NB, Tucker BJ, Melidosian L, Bartholomay LC.
      Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Culex pipiens complex play a key role in the transmission and therefore epidemiology of a number of human and animal pathogens globally. These mosquitoes, and sympatric species of the genus Culex Linnaeus that are not within the Cx. pipiens complex, are often considered 'impossible' to distinguish by morphology in the adult female stage. In the United States, this is particularly true for Culex pipiens s.l. and Culex restuans Theobald, both of which are competent vectors of West Nile virus, but likely play different roles in the transmission cycle. Therefore, we undertook an in-depth morphological evaluation of matched larval exuviae and adult specimens that revealed five useful morphological characters that are informative to distinguish Cx. pipiens s.l. from Cx. restuans in the adult stage. Herein, we provide a comprehensive review of the literature on these species of interest, and four additional, morphologically similar, Culex species, and a proposed key to adult female specimens.
    Keywords:   Culex pipiens s.l; Culex restuans ; character reappraisal; morphology; occipital erect scales
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieaa119
  16. Respir Med Case Rep. 2020 ;31 101246
    Kori M, Awano N, Inomata M, Kuse N, Tone M, Yoshimura H, Jo T, Takada K, Tanaka A, Mawatari M, Ueda A, Izumo T.
      Objective: In 2014, an autochthonous dengue fever outbreak occurred around the Yoyogi Park in Japan for the first time in 70 years. Despite no local cases reported since then, the risk of another outbreak remains high. This study reviews the autochthonous dengue fever cases of the outbreak, investigates its causes, and delineates preventive measures against autochthonous dengue epidemics.Methods: We conducted a case series study of 15 patients who visited our institution during the 2014 outbreak. We collected and evaluated data on the surveillance of vector mosquitoes, weather, pest control, travelers' origins and destinations, and imported dengue fever cases using reports made by public institutions.
    Results: All patients recovered with supportive treatments and none met the diagnostic criteria for severe dengue infection. Twelve patients with positive real-time polymerase chain reactions were confirmed as having dengue virus-1 infections. We found no obvious associations between the number of mosquitoes and the weather, or between the number of imported dengue fever cases and that of travelers. Insect growth regulator (IGR) against vector mosquitoes has been used since 2014 for pest control, but the number of larvae has not declined in the Yoyogi Park, although that of imagoes has been relatively suppressed.
    Conclusion: The 2014 outbreak emerged without particularly favorable climate conditions for vector mosquitoes. We found no obvious associations between the number of travelers or the imported dengue fever cases and the outbreak, but the increasing number of travelers may contribute to another outbreak. Pest control, including IGR, remains essential for infection control.
    Keywords:  Ae, Aedes; Autochthonous dengue infection; DENV, dengue virus; Dengue fever; ELISAs, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays; IGR, insect growth regulator; NSI, non-structural protein; Pest control; RT-PCRs, real-time polymerase chain reactions
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmcr.2020.101246
  17. Infect Dis Poverty. 2020 Nov 03. 9(1): 153
    do Carmo RF, Silva Júnior JVJ, Pastor AF, de Souza CDF.
      BACKGROUND: Dengue fever is an arthropod-borne viral disease caused by dengue virus (DENV) and transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The Northeast region of Brazil is characterized by having one of the highest dengue rates in the country, in addition to being considered the poorest region. Here, we aimed to identify spatial clusters with the highest dengue risk, as well as to analyze the temporal behavior of the incidence rate and the effects of social determinants on the disease transmission dynamic in Northeastern Brazil.METHODS: This is an ecological study carried out with all confirmed cases of dengue in the Northeast Brazil between 2014 and 2017. Data were extracted from the National Notifiable Diseases Information System (SINAN) and the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Local empirical Bayesian model, Moran statistics and spatial scan statistics were applied. The association between dengue incidence rate and social determinants was tested using Moran's bivariate correlation.
    RESULTS: A total of 509 261 cases of dengue were confirmed in the Northeast during the study period, 53.41% of them were concentrated in Pernambuco and Ceará states. Spatial analysis showed a heterogeneous distribution of dengue cases in the region, with the highest rates in the east coast. Four risk clusters were observed, involving 815 municipalities (45.45%). Moreover, social indicators related to population density, education, income, housing, and social vulnerability showed a spatial correlation with the dengue incidence rate.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study provides information on the spatial dynamics of dengue in northeastern Brazil and its relationship with social determinants and can be used in the formulation of public health policies to reduce the impact of the disease in vulnerable populations.
    Keywords:  Arboviruses; Dengue; Dengue virus; Epidemiology; GIS; Poverty
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-020-00772-6
  18. Front Genet. 2020 ;11 504354
    Dacey DP, Chain FJJ.
      Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals on earth because of their ability to transmit a wide range of human pathogens. Traditional mosquito control methods use chemical insecticides, but with dwindling long-term effectiveness and negative effects on the environment, microbial forms of control have become common alternatives. The insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (Bti) is the most popular of these alternatives, although it can also have direct effects on lowering environmental biodiversity and indirect effects on food-web relationships in the ecosystems where it is deployed. In addition, microbial control agents that impede pathogen development or transmission from mosquito to human are under investigation, including Wolbachia and Asaia, but unexpected interactions with mosquito gut bacteria can hinder their effectiveness. Improved characterization of mosquito gut bacterial communities is needed to determine the taxa that interfere with microbial controls and their effectiveness in wild populations. This mini-review briefly discusses relationships between mosquito gut bacteria and microbial forms of control, and the challenges in ensuring their success.
    Keywords:  16S; Asaia; Bti; Chromobacterium; Wolbachia; microbiome; mosquito; pathogen
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2020.504354
  19. Nat Commun. 2020 11 03. 11(1): 5553
    Adolfi A, Gantz VM, Jasinskiene N, Lee HF, Hwang K, Terradas G, Bulger EA, Ramaiah A, Bennett JB, Emerson JJ, Marshall JM, Bier E, James AA.
      Cas9/gRNA-mediated gene-drive systems have advanced development of genetic technologies for controlling vector-borne pathogen transmission. These technologies include population suppression approaches, genetic analogs of insecticidal techniques that reduce the number of insect vectors, and population modification (replacement/alteration) approaches, which interfere with competence to transmit pathogens. Here, we develop a recoded gene-drive rescue system for population modification of the malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi, that relieves the load in females caused by integration of the drive into the kynurenine hydroxylase gene by rescuing its function. Non-functional resistant alleles are eliminated via a dominantly-acting maternal effect combined with slower-acting standard negative selection, and rare functional resistant alleles do not prevent drive invasion. Small cage trials show that single releases of gene-drive males robustly result in efficient population modification with ≥95% of mosquitoes carrying the drive within 5-11 generations over a range of initial release ratios.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19426-0
  20. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Nov 02.
    Johora FT, Elahi R, Nima MK, Hossain MS, Rashid H, Kibria MG, Mohon AN, Khan WA, Haque R, Alam MS.
      The control of malaria, in terms of drug resistance, remains a significant global challenge, with Bangladesh, a malaria-endemic country, being no exception. The aim of this study was to explore antimalarial resistance in Bangladesh by molecular analysis of Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) and P. falciparum multidrug resistance transporter 1 (pfmdr1) genetic markers of P. falciparum. Samples were obtained from uncomplicated malaria patients between 2009 and 2014 from six malaria-endemic districts. Based on parasite transmission intensity, the endemic districts were divided into high-transmission (Chittagong Hill Tracts [CHT]) and low-transmission (non-CHT) regions. Falciparum malaria-positive isolates were genotyped for K76T of the pfcrt gene, and N86Y and Y184F of the pfmdr1 gene: in total, 262 P. falciparum clinical isolates were analyzed. In CHT areas, the prevalence of polymorphisms was 70.6% for 76T, 14.4% for 86Y, and 7.8% for 184F. In non-CHT areas, 76T and 86Y mutations were found in 78.0% and 19.5% of the samples, respectively, whereas no 184F mutations were observed. We compared our data with previous similar molecular observations, which shows a significant decrease in pfcrt 76T mutation prevalence. No pfmdr1 amplification was observed in any of the samples suggesting an unaltered susceptibility to amino alcohol drugs such as mefloquine and lumefantrine. This study provides an updated assessment of the current status of pfcrt and pfmdr1 gene mutations in Bangladesh, and suggests there is persistent high prevalence of markers of resistance to aminoquinoline drugs.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.20-0415
  21. Ecohealth. 2020 Nov 05.
    Constant A, McColl K, Raude J.
      During the last decade, tiger mosquitoes have rapidly colonized a large number of European countries, increasing the risk of infection with mosquito-borne diseases (MBDs), and constituting an emerging health threat in the region. The objectives of the present study were to prospectively investigate changes in Self-protective Behaviors, beliefs and attitudes regarding MBDs in Mediterranean France, and to assess the influence of social and cognitive time-varying covariates on behaviors. Data were collected using the same computer-assisted telephone survey in 2012, 2013 and 2014 among respondents residing in French Mediterranean regions. Weighted estimates in multivariate analysis were computed using the generalized estimating equation technique, with Self-protective Behaviors as a repeated outcome. Perceived exposure to tiger mosquitoes and knowledge about MBDs increased significantly between 2012 and 2014. Most respondents suffered from mosquito bites over the same period, but only 4 in 10 adopted Self-protective Behaviors. These behaviors were mostly related to the frequency of mosquito bites, perceived exposure to tiger mosquitoes, and to higher perceived vulnerability to MBDs. In conclusion, French Mediterranean residents are increasingly knowledgeable about MBDs and the proximity of tiger mosquitoes. However, self-protection was predominantly related to the frequency of mosquito bites and higher perceived vulnerability. These results suggest that Self-protective Behaviors are being shaped more in new risk areas by environmental cues to which people are exposed than by other common personal determinants of health behaviors.
    Keywords:  Behaviors; Ecological factors; Mediterranean France; Mosquito-borne diseases; Prospective study
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-020-01500-0