bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2021‒02‒14
twenty papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. Malar J. 2021 Feb 10. 20(1): 84
    Chaccour C, Zulliger R, Wagman J, Casellas A, Nacima A, Elobolobo E, Savaio B, Saifodine A, Fornadel C, Richardson J, Candrinho B, Robertson M, Saute F.
      BACKGROUND: Attaining the goal of reducing the global malaria burden is threatened by recent setbacks in maintaining the effectiveness of vector control interventions partly due to the emergence of pyrethroid resistant vectors. One potential strategy to address these setbacks could be combining indoor residual spraying (IRS) with non-pyrethroids and standard insecticide-treated nets (ITNs). This study aimed to provide evidence on the incremental epidemiological benefit of using third-generation IRS product in a highly endemic area with high ITN ownership.METHODS: A cluster-randomized, open-label, parallel-arms, superiority trial was conducted in the Mopeia district in Zambezia, Mozambique from 2016 to 2018. The district had received mass distribution of alphacypermethrin ITNs two years before the trial and again mid-way. 86 clusters were defined, stratified and randomized to receive or not receive IRS with pirimiphos-methyl (Actellic®300 CS). Efficacy of adding IRS was assessed through malaria incidence in a cohort of children under five followed prospectively for two years, enhanced passive surveillance at health facilities and by community health workers, and yearly cross-sectional surveys at the peak of the transmission season.
    FINDINGS: A total of 1536 children were enrolled in the cohort. Children in the IRS arm experienced 4,801 cases (incidence rate of 3,532 per 10,000 children-month at risk) versus 5,758 cases in the no-IRS arm (incidence rate of 4,297 per 10,000 children-month at risk), resulting in a crude risk reduction of 18% and an incidence risk ratio of 0.82 (95% CI 0.79-0.86, p-value < 0.001). Facility and community passive surveillance showed a malaria incidence of 278 per 10,000 person-month in the IRS group (43,974 cases over 22 months) versus 358 (95% CI 355-360) per 10,000 person-month at risk in the no-IRS group (58,030 cases over 22 months), resulting in an incidence rate ratio of 0.65 (95% CI 0.60-0.71, p < 0.001). In the 2018 survey, prevalence in children under five in the IRS arm was significantly lower than in the no-IRS arm (OR 0.54, 95% CI, 0.31-0.92, p = 0.0241).
    CONCLUSION: In a highly endemic area with high ITN access and emerging pyrethroid resistance, adding IRS with pirimiphos-methyl resulted in significant additional protection for children under five years of age.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION: identifier NCT02910934, registered 22 September 2016, .
    Keywords:  Indoor residual spraying; Insecticide resistance; Insecticide‐treated nets; Mozambique; Vector control
  2. Environ Res. 2021 Feb 06. pii: S0013-9351(21)00143-2. [Epub ahead of print] 110849
    Davis C, Murphy AK, Bambrick H, Devine GJ, Frentiu FD, Yakob L, Huang X, Li Z, Yang W, Williams G, Hu W.
      BACKGROUND: The mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus are the primary vectors of dengue virus, and their geographic distributions are predicted to expand further with economic development, and in response to climate change. We aimed to estimate the impact of future climate change on dengue transmission through the development of a Suitable Conditions Index (SCI), based on climatic variables known to support vectorial capacity. We calculated the SCI based on various climate change scenarios for six countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Australia, China, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam).METHODS: Monthly raster climate data (temperature and precipitation) were collected for the period January 2005 to December 2018 along with projected climate estimates for the years 2030, 2050 and 2070 using Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4·5, 6·0 and 8·5 emissions scenarios. We defined suitable temperature ranges for dengue transmission of between 17·05-34·61°C for Ae. aegypti and 15·84-31·51°C for Ae. albopictus and then developed a historical and predicted SCI based on weather variability to measure the expected geographic limits of dengue vectorial capacity. Historical and projected SCI values were compared through difference maps for the six countries.
    FINDINGS: Comparing different emission scenarios across all countries, we found that most South East Asian countries showed either a stable pattern of high suitability, or a potential decline in suitability for both vectors from 2030-2070, with a declining pattern particularly evident for Ae. albopictus. Temperate areas of both China and Australia showed a less stable pattern, with both moderate increases and decreases in suitability for each vector in different regions between 2030-2070.
    INTERPRETATION: The SCI will be a useful index for forecasting potential dengue risk distributions in response to climate change, and independently of the effects of human activity. When considered alongside additional correlates of infection such as human population density and socioeconomic development indicators, the SCI could be used to develop an early warning system for dengue transmission.
    Keywords:  Aedes; SCI; climate change; dengue; prediction; vectors
  3. J Med Entomol. 2021 Feb 08. pii: tjaa286. [Epub ahead of print]
    Zimler RA, Yee DA, Alto BW.
      Recurrence of local transmission of Zika virus in Puerto Rico is a major public health risk to the United States, where mosquitoes Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and Aedes mediovittatus (Coquillett) are abundant. To determine the extent to which Ae. mediovittatus are capable of transmitting Zika virus and the influence of viremia, we evaluated infection and transmission in Ae. mediovittatus and Ae. aegypti from Puerto Rico using serial dilutions of infectious blood. Higher doses of infectious blood resulted in greater infection rates in both mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti females were up to twice as susceptible to infection than Ae. mediovittatus, indicating a more effective midgut infection barrier in the latter mosquito species. Aedes aegypti exhibited higher disseminated infection (40-95%) than Ae. mediovittatus (<5%), suggesting a substantial midgut escape barrier in Ae. mediovittatus. For Ae. aegypti, transmission rates were low over a range of doses of Zika virus ingested, suggesting substantial salivary gland barriers.
    Keywords:  Mosquito; arbovirus; emerging pathogen; epidemiology; invasive and native species
  4. Malar J. 2021 Feb 08. 20(1): 77
    Omoke D, Kipsum M, Otieno S, Esalimba E, Sheth M, Lenhart A, Njeru EM, Ochomo E, Dada N.
      BACKGROUND: Insecticide resistance poses a growing challenge to malaria vector control in Kenya and around the world. Following evidence of associations between the mosquito microbiota and insecticide resistance, the microbiota of Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (s.s.) from Tulukuyi village, Bungoma, Kenya, with differing permethrin resistance profiles were comparatively characterized.METHODS: Using the CDC bottle bioassay, 133 2-3 day-old, virgin, non-blood fed female F1 progeny of field-caught An. gambiae s.s. were exposed to five times (107.5 µg/ml) the discriminating dose of permethrin. Post bioassay, 50 resistant and 50 susceptible mosquitoes were subsequently screened for kdr East and West mutations, and individually processed for microbial analysis using high throughput sequencing targeting the universal bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene.
    RESULTS: 47 % of the samples tested (n = 133) were resistant, and of the 100 selected for further processing, 99 % were positive for kdr East and 1 % for kdr West. Overall, 84 bacterial taxa were detected across all mosquito samples, with 36 of these shared between resistant and susceptible mosquitoes. A total of 20 bacterial taxa were unique to the resistant mosquitoes and 28 were unique to the susceptible mosquitoes. There were significant differences in bacterial composition between resistant and susceptible individuals (PERMANOVA, pseudo-F = 2.33, P = 0.001), with presence of Sphingobacterium, Lysinibacillus and Streptococcus (all known pyrethroid-degrading taxa), and the radiotolerant Rubrobacter, being significantly associated with resistant mosquitoes. On the other hand, the presence of Myxococcus, was significantly associated with susceptible mosquitoes.
    CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of distinct microbiota in An. gambiae s.s. associated with intense pyrethroid resistance. The findings highlight differentially abundant bacterial taxa between resistant and susceptible mosquitoes, and further suggest a microbe-mediated mechanism of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes. These results also indicate fixation of the kdr East mutation in this mosquito population, precluding further analysis of its associations with the mosquito microbiota, but presenting the hypothesis that any microbe-mediated mechanism of insecticide resistance would be likely of a metabolic nature. Overall, this study lays initial groundwork for understanding microbe-mediated mechanisms of insecticide resistance in African mosquito vectors of malaria, and potentially identifying novel microbial markers of insecticide resistance that could supplement existing vector surveillance tools.
    Keywords:  16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing; Anopheles gambiae s.s.; Insecticide resistance; Metabarcoding; Mosquito microbiome; Mosquito microbiota; pyrethroid resistance
  5. Insects. 2021 Feb 07. pii: 143. [Epub ahead of print]12(2):
    Moo-Llanes DA, López-Ordóñez T, Torres-Monzón JA, Mosso-González C, Casas-Martínez M, Samy AM.
      The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is currently the most invasive vector species, with a widespread global distribution. Aedes albopictus is the potential vector of diverse arboviruses, including Zika and dengue. This study updated the ecological niche model of Ae. albopictus and inferred the potential distribution of natural Wolbachia infections in Ae. albopictus in México. The ecological niche models were constructed based on diverse model settings to better estimate the potential distributions and uncertainty indices of both Ae. albopictus and its natural Wolbachia infections in México. The distribution of Ae. albopictus covered the states across Northern México, the Gulf of México, the Pacific Coast of México, Central México, and the southeast of México. The ecological niche model of the natural Wolbachia infections in Ae. albopictus populations anticipated the occurrence of natural Wolbachia infections in the southeast of México, the Chiapas border with Guatemala, and Veracruz. These results can be used to prioritize vector surveillance and control programs in México for strategic and future decision-making; however, it is still necessary to establish active surveillance programs to assess model predictions based on the independent sampling of Ae. albopictus from different invasion zones in México. Finally, vector surveillance should also screen the natural Wolbachia infections in Ae. albopictus to validate Wolbachia predictions across México, particularly in the southeast of México.
    Keywords:  Aedes albopictus; México; Wolbachia spp.; distribution; ecological niche modeling; kuenm
  6. Infect Dis Rep. 2021 Feb 05. 13(1): 148-160
    Ong SQ, Ahmad H, Mohd Ngesom AM.
      We aim to investigate the effect of large-scale human movement restrictions during the COVID-19 lockdown on both the dengue transmission and vector occurrences. This study compared the weekly dengue incidences during the period of lockdown to the previous years (2015 to 2019) and a Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (SARIMA) model that expected no movement restrictions. We found that the trend of dengue incidence during the first two weeks (stage 1) of lockdown decreased significantly with the incidences lower than the lower confidence level (LCL) of SARIMA. By comparing the magnitude of the gradient of decrease, the trend is 319% steeper than the trend observed in previous years and 650% steeper than the simulated model, indicating that the control of population movement did reduce dengue transmission. However, starting from stage 2 of lockdown, the dengue incidences demonstrated an elevation and earlier rebound by four weeks and grew with an exponential pattern. We revealed that Aedes albopictus is the predominant species and demonstrated a strong correlation with the locally reported dengue incidences, and therefore we proposed the possible diffusive effect of the vector that led to a higher acceleration of incidence rate.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Aedes albopictus; dengue fever; movement control order
  7. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Feb;15(2): e0009024
    Telle O, Nikolay B, Kumar V, Benkimoun S, Pal R, Nagpal BN, Paul RE.
      Global urbanization is leading to an inexorable spread of several major diseases that need to be stemmed. Dengue is one of these major diseases spreading in cities today, with its principal mosquito vector superbly adapted to the urban environment. Current mosquito control strategies are proving inadequate, especially in the face of such urbanisation and novel, evidence-based targeted approaches are needed. Through combined epidemiological and entomological approaches, we aimed to identify a novel sanitation strategy to alleviate the burden of dengue through how the dengue virus spreads through the community. We combined surveillance case mapping, prospective serological studies, year-round mosquito surveys, socio-economic and Knowledge Attitudes and Practices surveys across Delhi. We identified lack of access to tap water (≤98%) as an important risk factor for dengue virus IgG sero-positivity (adjusted Odds Ratio 4.69, 95% C.I. 2.06-10.67) and not poverty per se. Wealthier districts had a higher dengue burden despite lower mosquito densities than the Intermediary income communities (adjusted Odds Ratio 2.92, 95% C.I. 1.26-6.72). This probably reflects dengue being introduced by people travelling from poorer areas to work in wealthier houses. These poorer, high density areas, where temperatures are also warmer, also had dengue cases during the winter. Control strategies based on improved access to a reliable supply of tap water plus focal intervention in intra-urban heat islands prior to the dengue season could not only lead to a reduction in mosquito abundance but also eliminate the reservoir of dengue virus clearly circulating at low levels in winter in socio-economically disadvantaged areas.
  8. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2021 ;pii: S0074-02762021000100302. [Epub ahead of print]116 e200513
    Fabbri C, Trindade AO, Andrade FS, Souza MF, Ríos-Velásquez CM, Lacerda MVG, Monteiro WM, Costa FTM, Amino R, Lopes SCP.
      BACKGROUND: Different strategies for improvement of malaria control and elimination are based on the blockage of malaria parasite transmission to the mosquito vector. These strategies include the drugs that target the plasmodial sexual stages in humans and the early developmental stages inside mosquitoes.OBJECTIVES: Here we tested Malaria Box compounds in order to evaluate their activity against male and female gametocytes in Plasmodium berghei, mosquito infection in P. vivax and ookinete formation in both species.
    METHODS/FINDINGS: The membrane feeding assay and the development of ookinetes by a 24 h ex vivo culture and the ookinete yield per 1000 erythrocytes were used to test transmission-blocking potential of the Malaria Box compounds in P. vivax. For P. berghei we used flow cytometry to evaluate male and female gametocyte time course and fluorescence microscopy to check the ookinete development. The two species used in this study showed similar results concerning the compounds' activity against gametocytes and ookinetes, which were different from those in P. falciparum. In addition, from the eight Malaria Box compounds tested in both species, compounds MMV665830, MMV665878 and MMV665941 were selected as a hit compounds due the high inhibition observed.
    CONCLUSION: Our results showed that P. berghei is suitable as an initial screening system to test compounds against P. vivax.
  9. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2020 Jun;36(2 Suppl): 2-4
    Connelly CR, Borchert J.
      On February 9, 2019, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 was signed into law and appropriated $200M in hurricane funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for preparation, response, recovery, mitigation, and other expenses related to the consequences of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The CDC then awarded, through CDC-RFA-TP18-1802 Cooperative Agreement for Emergency Response: Public Health Crisis Response notice of funding opportunity, $51,136,347 in extramural funding. Funding specific to vector-borne diseases, including intramural and extramural (partners and jurisdictions), was $37,628,235 to Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands. State and territorial funding supported the implementation of conventional and novel mosquito control techniques, training for public health pest control applicators, replacement of mosquito surveillance and control supplies utilized in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes, insecticide resistance testing and training, and source reduction. Additionally, the CDC hurricane funding supported this special issue of the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association (JAMCA) focused on mosquito control response in the wake of natural disasters. We invited hurricane relief funding grantees, mosquito control programs, academics, manufacturers, product distributors, and applicators to submit response plans or descriptive articles related to their experience with mosquito control after natural disasters. The objective of this special issue of JAMCA is to provide a comprehensive volume that includes resources to help guide mosquito control in areas affected by natural disasters. The shared experiences should serve to assist others involved in mosquito control in planning for and responding to natural disasters.
  10. Cryobiology. 2021 Feb 05. pii: S0011-2240(21)00029-8. [Epub ahead of print]
    Gallichotte EN, Dobos KM, Ebel GD, Hagedorn M, Rasgon JL, Richardson JH, Stedman TT, Barfield JP.
      Mosquito-borne diseases are responsible for millions of human deaths every year, posing a massive burden on global public health. Mosquitoes transmit a variety of bacteria, parasites and viruses. Mosquito control efforts such as insecticide spraying can reduce mosquito populations, but they must be sustained in order to have long term impacts, can result in the evolution of insecticide resistance, are costly, and can have adverse human and environmental effects. Technological advances have allowed genetic manipulation of mosquitoes, including generation of those that are still susceptible to insecticides, which has greatly increased the number of mosquito strains and lines available to the scientific research community This generates an associated challenge, because rearing and maintaining unique mosquito lines requires time, money and facilities, and long-term maintenance can lead to adaptation to specific laboratory conditions, resulting in mosquito lines that are distinct from their wild-type counterparts. Additionally, continuous rearing of transgenic lines can lead to loss of genetic markers, genes and/or phenotypes. Cryopreservation of valuable mosquito lines could help circumvent these limitations and allow researchers to reduce the cost of rearing multiple lines simultaneously, maintain low passage number transgenic mosquitoes, and bank lines not currently being used. Additionally, mosquito cryopreservation could allow researchers to access the same mosquito lines, limiting the impact of unique laboratory or field conditions. Successful cryopreservation of mosquitoes would expand the field of mosquito research and could ultimately lead to advances that would reduce the burden of mosquito-borne diseases, possibly through rear and release strategies to overcome mosquito insecticide resistance. Cryopreservation techniques have been developed for some insect groups, including but not limited to fruit flies, silkworms and other moth species, and honeybees. Recent advances within the cryopreservation field, along with success with other insects suggest that cryopreservation of mosquitoes may be a feasible method for preserving valuable scientific and public health resources. In this review, we will provide an overview of basic mosquito biology, the current state of and advances within insect cryopreservation, and a proposed approach toward cryopreservation of Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes.
  11. Insects. 2021 Feb 08. pii: 145. [Epub ahead of print]12(2):
    Bond JG, Aguirre-Ibáñez S, Osorio AR, Marina CF, Gómez-Simuta Y, Tamayo-Escobar R, Dor A, Liedo P, Carvalho DO, Williams T.
      The sterile insect technique may prove useful for the suppression of mosquito vectors of medical importance in regions where arboviruses pose a serious public health threat. In the present study, we examined the effects of sterilizing irradiation doses across different ratios of fertile:irradiated males on the mating competitiveness of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus under laboratory and field-cage conditions. For both species, the percentage of females inseminated and the number of eggs laid over two gonotrophic cycles varied significantly in mating treatments involving 1:1, 1:5, and 1:10 fertile:irradiated males compared to controls of entirely fertile or entirely irradiated males but was not generally affected by the irradiation dose. Egg hatching was negatively affected in females exposed to increasing proportions of irradiated males in both laboratory and field cages. Male competitiveness (Fried's index) values varied from 0.19 to 0.58 in the laboratory and were between 0.09 and 1.0 in field cages, depending on th species. Competitiveness values were negatively affected by th eirradiation dose in both species under field-cage conditions, whereas in the laboratory, Ae. albopictus was sensitive to the dose but Ae. aegypti was not. In general, male competitiveness was similar across all mating regimes. Most importantly, induced egg sterility was positively correlated with the proportion of irradiated males present in the mating treatments, reaching a maximum of 88% under field-cage conditions for both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus males treated with 50 and 40 Gy irradiation, respectively. These results indicate that sterile males produced at our facility are suitable and competitive enough for field pilot SIT projects and provide guidance to decide the optimal sterile:fertile ratios.
    Keywords:  SIT; arboviruses; egg production; egg viability; insemination; mosquito vector; sterile insect technique
  12. Nat Commun. 2021 02 11. 12(1): 942
    Romoli O, Schönbeck JC, Hapfelmeier S, Gendrin M.
      The mosquito microbiota impacts the physiology of its host and is essential for normal larval development, thereby influencing transmission of vector-borne pathogens. Germ-free mosquitoes generated with current methods show larval stunting and developmental deficits. Therefore, functional studies of the mosquito microbiota have so far mostly been limited to antibiotic treatments of emerging adults. In this study, we introduce a method to produce germ-free Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. It is based on reversible colonisation with bacteria genetically modified to allow complete decolonisation at any developmental stage. We show that, unlike germ-free mosquitoes previously produced using sterile diets, reversibly colonised mosquitoes show no developmental retardation and reach the same size as control adults. This allows us to uncouple the study of the microbiota in larvae and adults. In adults, we detect no impact of bacterial colonisation on mosquito fecundity or longevity. In larvae, data from our transcriptome analysis and diet supplementation experiments following decolonisation suggest that bacteria support larval development by contributing to folate biosynthesis and by enhancing energy storage. Our study establishes a tool to study the microbiota in insects and deepens our knowledge on the metabolic contribution of bacteria to mosquito development.
  13. Malar J. 2021 Feb 12. 20(1): 87
    Lana R, Nekkab N, Siqueira AM, Peterka C, Marchesini P, Lacerda M, Mueller I, White M, Villela D.
      BACKGROUND: As malaria endemic countries strive towards elimination, intensified spatial heterogeneities of local transmission could undermine the effectiveness of traditional intervention policy.METHODS: The dynamic nature of large-scale and long-term malaria heterogeneity across Brazilian Amazon basin were explored by (1) exploratory analysis of Brazil's rich clinical malaria reporting database from 2004 to 2018, and (2) adapting Gini coefficient to study the distribution of malaria cases in the region.
    RESULTS: As transmission declined, heterogeneity increased with cases clustering into smaller subpopulations across the territory. In 2004, the 1% of health units with the greatest number of cases accounted for 46% of all reported Plasmodium vivax cases, whereas in 2018 52% of P. vivax cases occurred in the top 1% of health units. Plasmodium falciparum had lower levels of transmission than P. vivax, and also had greater levels of heterogeneity with 75% of cases occurring in the top 1% of health units. Age and gender stratification of cases revealed peri-domestic and occupational exposure settings that remained relatively stable.
    CONCLUSION: The pathway to decreasing incidence is characterized by higher proportions of cases in males, in adults, due to importation, and caused by P. vivax. Characterization of spatio-temporal heterogeneity and risk groups can aid stratification for improved malaria control towards elimination with increased heterogeneity potentially allowing for more efficient and cost-effective targeting. Although distinct epidemiological phenomena were clearly observed as malaria transmission declines, the authors argue that there is no canonical path to malaria elimination and a more targeted and dynamic surveillance will be needed if Brazil decides to adopt the elimination target.
    Keywords:  Epidemiology; Malaria; Plasmodium falciparum; Plasmodium vivax
  14. Insects. 2021 Jan 31. pii: 124. [Epub ahead of print]12(2):
    Amer K, Saavedra-Rodriguez K, Black WC, Gray EM.
      The study of fitness costs of insecticide resistance mutations in Aedes aegypti has generally been focused on life history parameters such as fecundity, mortality, and energy reserves. In this study we sought to investigate whether trade-offs might also exist between insecticide resistance and other abiotic stress resistance parameters. We evaluated the effects of the selection for permethrin resistance specifically on larval salinity and thermal tolerance. A population of A. aegypti originally from Southern Mexico was split into two strains, one selected for permethrin resistance and the other not. Larvae were reared at different salinities, and the fourth instar larvae were subjected to acute thermal stress; then, survival to both stresses was compared between strains. Contrary to our predictions, we found that insecticide resistance correlated with significantly enhanced larval thermotolerance. We found no clear difference in salinity tolerance between strains. This result suggests that insecticide resistance does not necessarily carry trade-offs in all traits affecting fitness and that successful insecticide resistance management strategies must account for genetic associations between insecticide resistance and abiotic stress resistance, as well as traditional life history parameters.
    Keywords:  climate; fitness; heat stress; insecticide resistance; mosquito; osmotic stress
  15. PLoS Pathog. 2021 Feb;17(2): e1009110
    Levi LI, Rezelj VV, Henrion-Lacritick A, Erazo D, Boussier J, Vallet T, Bernhauerová V, Suzuki Y, Carrau L, Weger-Lucarelli J, Saleh MC, Vignuzzi M.
      Defective viral genomes (DVGs) are truncated and/or rearranged viral genomes produced during virus replication. Described in many RNA virus families, some of them have interfering activity on their parental virus and/or strong immunostimulatory potential, and are being considered in antiviral approaches. Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an alphavirus transmitted by Aedes spp. that infected millions of humans in the last 15 years. Here, we describe the DVGs arising during CHIKV infection in vitro in mammalian and mosquito cells, and in vivo in experimentally infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. We combined experimental and computational approaches to select DVG candidates most likely to have inhibitory activity and showed that, indeed, they strongly interfere with CHIKV replication both in mammalian and mosquito cells. We further demonstrated that some DVGs present broad-spectrum activity, inhibiting several CHIKV strains and other alphaviruses. Finally, we showed that pre-treating Aedes aegypti with DVGs prevented viral dissemination in vivo.
  16. Front Microbiol. 2020 ;11 621605
    Cappelli A, Favia G, Ricci I.
      The ascomycete yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus is a mutualistic symbiont of different insects, including diptera vectors of diseases. Although fungal symbioses have been so far poorly characterized, the topic is gaining attention as yeast-insect interactions can provide pivotal information on insect biology, such as their environmental adaptation or vectorial capability. We review the symbiosis between W. anomalus and mosquitoes, which implies nutritional and protective functions. Furthermore, we focus on antiplasmodial effects of W. anomalus in malaria vectors and discuss the yeast potential for the "symbiotic control" (SC) of mosquito-borne diseases (MBDs).
    Keywords:  Wickerhamomyces anomalus; insect; malaria; mosquito; mycobiota; symbiosis; symbiotic control; yeast
  17. Nat Commun. 2021 02 10. 12(1): 909
    Sumner KM, Freedman E, Abel L, Obala A, Pence BW, Wesolowski A, Meshnick SR, Prudhomme-O'Meara W, Taylor SM.
      Malaria control may be enhanced by targeting reservoirs of Plasmodium falciparum transmission. One putative reservoir is asymptomatic malaria infections and the scale of their contribution to transmission in natural settings is not known. We assess the contribution of asymptomatic malaria to onward transmission using a 14-month longitudinal cohort of 239 participants in a high transmission site in Western Kenya. We identify P. falciparum in asymptomatically- and symptomatically-infected participants and naturally-fed mosquitoes from their households, genotype all parasites using deep sequencing of the parasite genes pfama1 and pfcsp, and use haplotypes to infer participant-to-mosquito transmission through a probabilistic model. In 1,242 infections (1,039 in people and 203 in mosquitoes), we observe 229 (pfcsp) and 348 (pfama1) unique parasite haplotypes. Using these to link human and mosquito infections, compared with symptomatic infections, asymptomatic infections more than double the odds of transmission to a mosquito among people with both infection types (Odds Ratio: 2.56; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.36-4.81) and among all participants (OR 2.66; 95% CI: 2.05-3.47). Overall, 94.6% (95% CI: 93.1-95.8%) of mosquito infections likely resulted from asymptomatic infections. In high transmission areas, asymptomatic infections are the major contributor to mosquito infections and may be targeted as a component of transmission reduction.
  18. mBio. 2021 02 09. pii: e02797-20. [Epub ahead of print]12(1):
    Sicard M, Namias A, Perriat-Sanguinet M, Carron E, Unal S, Altinli M, Landmann F, Weill M.
      In arthropods, Wolbachia endosymbionts induce conditional sterility, called cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), resulting from embryonic lethality. CI penetrance (i.e., embryonic death rate) varies depending on host species and Wolbachia strains involved. All Culex pipiens mosquitoes are infected by the endosymbiotic alphaproteobacteria Wolbachia wPip. CI in Culex, characterized as a binary "compatible/incompatible" phenomenon, revealed an unparalleled diversity of patterns linked to the amplification-diversification of cidA and cidB genes. Here, we accurately studied CI penetrance variations in the light of cid genes divergence by generating a C. pipiens compatibility matrix between 11 lines hosting different phylogenetic wPip groups and exhibiting distinct cid gene repertoires. We showed, as expected, that crosses involving wPip from the same group were mostly compatible. In contrast, only 22% of the crosses involving different wPip groups were compatible, while 54% were fully incompatible. For the remaining 24% of the crosses, "intermediate" compatibilities were reported, and a cytological observation of the first zygotic division confirmed the occurrence of "canonical" CI phenotypes in a fraction of the eggs. Backcross experiments demonstrated that intermediate compatibilities were not linked to host genetic background but to the Wolbachia strains involved. This previously unstudied intermediate penetrance CI was more severe and frequent in crosses involving wPip-IV strains exhibiting cid variants markedly divergent from other wPip groups. Our data demonstrate that CI is not always a binary compatible/incompatible phenomenon in C. pipiens but that intermediate compatibilities putatively resulting from partial mismatch due to Cid proteins divergence exist in this species complex.IMPORTANCE Culex pipiens mosquitoes are infected with wPip. These endosymbionts induce a conditional sterility called CI resulting from embryonic deaths, which constitutes a cornerstone for Wolbachia antivectorial methods. Recent studies revealed that (i) two genes, cidA and cidB, are central in Wolbachia-CI mechanisms, and (ii) compatibility versus incompatibility between mosquito lines depends on the wPip phylogenetic groups at play. Here, we studied CI variations in relation to wPip groups and cid genes divergence. We showed, as expected, that the crosses involving wPip from the same group were compatible. In contrast, 78% of the crosses involving different wPip groups were partially or fully incompatible. In such crosses, we reported defects during the first zygotic division, a hallmark of CI. We showed that CI was more severe and frequent in crosses involving wPip-IV strains exhibiting cid variants, which markedly diverge from those of other wPip groups.
    Keywords:  Culex pipiens; Wolbachia; developmental biology; endosymbionts; gene amplification; toxin-antitoxin system; vectors
  19. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Feb 11. pii: trab009. [Epub ahead of print]
    Li SL, Messina JP, Pybus OG, Kraemer MUG, Gardner L.
      In recent years, Zika virus (ZIKV) has expanded its geographic range and in 2015-2016 caused a substantial epidemic linked to a surge in developmental and neurological complications in newborns. Mathematical models are powerful tools for assessing ZIKV spread and can reveal important information for preventing future outbreaks. We reviewed the literature and retrieved modelling studies that were developed to understand the spatial epidemiology of ZIKV spread and risk. We classified studies by type, scale, aim and applications and discussed their characteristics, strengths and limitations. We examined the main objectives of these models and evaluated the effectiveness of integrating epidemiological and phylogeographic data, along with socioenvironmental risk factors that are known to contribute to vector-human transmission. We also assessed the promising application of human mobility data as a real-time indicator of ZIKV spread. Lastly, we summarised model validation methods used in studies to ensure accuracy in models and modelled outcomes. Models are helpful for understanding ZIKV spread and their characteristics should be carefully considered when developing future modelling studies to improve arbovirus surveillance.
    Keywords:  ZIKV; arbovirus; mobility; surveillance; vector-borne
  20. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2020 Jun;36(2): 107-111
    Riles MT, Connelly CR.
      In the last 2 decades, many new Florida county mosquito records have been discovered. The intent of this report is to establish unpublished county records to update the known distribution of mosquito species in Florida. We report 92 new county records from 5 major sources collected during 1989-2019.
    Keywords:  County record; Florida; mosquito