bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2021‒03‒14
twenty papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. J Med Entomol. 2021 Mar 11. pii: tjab030. [Epub ahead of print]
      Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) such as dengue, Zika, and chikungunya viruses cause morbidity and mortality among human populations living in the tropical regions of the world. Conventional mosquito control efforts based on insecticide treatments and/or the use of bednets and window curtains are currently insufficient to reduce arbovirus prevalence in affected regions. Novel, genetic strategies that are being developed involve the genetic manipulation of mosquitoes for population reduction and population replacement purposes. Population replacement aims at replacing arbovirus-susceptible wild-type mosquitoes in a target region with those that carry a laboratory-engineered antiviral effector to interrupt arboviral transmission in the field. The strategy has been primarily developed for Aedes aegypti (L.), the most important urban arbovirus vector. Antiviral effectors based on long dsRNAs, miRNAs, or ribozymes destroy viral RNA genomes and need to be linked to a robust gene drive to ensure their fixation in the target population. Synthetic gene-drive concepts are based on toxin/antidote, genetic incompatibility, and selfish genetic element principles. The CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system can be configurated as a homing endonuclease gene (HEG) and HEG-based drives became the preferred choice for mosquitoes. HEGs are highly allele and nucleotide sequence-specific and therefore sensitive to single-nucleotide polymorphisms/resistant allele formation. Current research efforts test new HEG-based gene-drive designs that promise to be less sensitive to resistant allele formation. Safety aspects in conjunction with gene drives are being addressed by developing procedures that would allow a recall or overwriting of gene-drive transgenes once they have been released.
    Keywords:  antiviral effector; arbovirus; gene-drive; mosquito; population replacement
  2. Malar J. 2021 Mar 07. 20(1): 138
      BACKGROUND: Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) are the malaria control interventions primarily responsible for reductions in transmission intensity across sub-Saharan Africa. These interventions, however, may have differential impact on Anopheles species composition and density. This study examined the changing pattern of Anopheles species in three areas of Uganda with markedly different transmission intensities and different levels of vector control.METHODS: From October 2011 to June 2016 mosquitoes were collected monthly using CDC light traps from 100 randomly selected households in three areas: Walukuba (low transmission), Kihihi (moderate transmission) and Nagongera (high transmission). LLINs were distributed in November 2013 in Walukuba and Nagongera and in June 2014 in Kihihi. IRS was implemented only in Nagongera, with three rounds of bendiocarb delivered between December 2014 and June 2015. Mosquito species were identified morphologically and by PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction).
    RESULTS: In Walukuba, LLIN distribution was associated with a decline in Anopheles funestus vector density (0.07 vs 0.02 mosquitoes per house per night, density ratio [DR] 0.34, 95% CI: 0.18-0.65, p = 0.001), but not Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (s.s.) nor Anopheles arabiensis. In Kihihi, over 98% of mosquitoes were An. gambiae s.s. and LLIN distribution was associated with a decline in An. gambiae s.s. vector density (4.00 vs 2.46, DR 0.68, 95% CI: 0.49-0.94, p = 0.02). In Nagongera, the combination of LLINs and multiple rounds of IRS was associated with almost complete elimination of An. gambiae s.s. (28.0 vs 0.17, DR 0.004, 95% CI: 0.002-0.009, p < 0.001), and An. funestus sensu lato (s.l.) (3.90 vs 0.006, DR 0.001, 95% CI: 0.0005-0.004, p < 0.001), with a less pronounced decline in An. arabiensis (9.18 vs 2.00, DR 0.15 95% CI: 0.07-0.33, p < 0.001).
    CONCLUSIONS: LLIN distribution was associated with reductions in An. funestus s.l. in the lowest transmission site and An. gambiae s.s. in the moderate transmission site. In the highest transmission site, a combination of LLINs and multiple rounds of IRS was associated with the near collapse of An. gambiae s.s. and An. funestus s.l. Following IRS, An. arabiensis, a behaviourally resilient vector, became the predominant species, which may have implications for malaria vector control activities. Development of interventions targeted at outdoor biting remains a priority.
    Keywords:  Anopheles density; Interventions; Malaria control; Seasonality; Species composition
  3. Malar J. 2021 Mar 10. 20(1): 143
      BACKGROUND: As malaria cases increase in some of the highest burden countries, more strategic deployment of new and proven interventions must be evaluated to meet global malaria reduction goals.METHODS: The cost and cost-effectiveness of indoor residual spraying (IRS) with pirimiphos-methyl (Actellic®300 CS) were assessed in a high transmission district (Mopeia) with high access to pyrethroid insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), compared to ITNs alone. The major mosquito vectors in the area were susceptible to primiphos-methyl, but resistant to pyrethoids. A decision analysis approach was followed to conduct deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses in a theoretical cohort of 10,000 children under five years of age (U5) and 10,000 individuals of all ages, separately. Model parameters and distributions were based on prospectively collected cost and epidemiological data from a cluster-randomized control trial and a literature review. The primary analysis used health facility-malaria incidence, while community cohort incidence and cross-sectional prevalence rates were used in sensitivity analyses. Lifetime costs, malaria cases, deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) were calculated to determine the incremental costs per DALY averted through IRS.
    RESULTS: The average IRS cost per person protected was US$8.26 and 51% of the cost was insecticide. IRS averted 46,609 (95% CI 46,570-46,646) uncomplicated and 242 (95% CI 241-243) severe lifetime cases in a theoretical children U5 cohort, yielding an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of US$400 (95% CI 399-402) per DALY averted. In the all-age cohort, the ICER was higher: US$1,860 (95% CI 1,852-1,868) per DALY averted. Deterministic and probabilistic results were consistent. When adding the community protective effect of IRS, the cost per person protected decreased (US$7.06) and IRS was highly cost-effective in children U5 (ICER = US$312) and cost-effective in individuals of all ages (ICER = US$1,431), compared to ITNs alone.
    CONCLUSION: This study provides robust evidence that IRS with pirimiphos-methyl can be cost-effective in high transmission regions with high pyrethroid ITN coverage where the major vector is susceptible to pirimiphos-methyl but resistant to pyrethroids. The finding that insecticide cost is the main driver of IRS costs highlights the need to reduce the insecticide price without jeopardizing effectiveness.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION: identifier NCT02910934 (Registered 22 September 2016).
    Keywords:  Economic evaluation; Indoor residual spraying; Insecticide-treated net; Mozambique; Vector control
  4. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(3): e0247944
      Entomological surveillance of local malaria vector populations is an important component of vector control and resistance management. In this study, the resistance profile and its possible mechanisms was characterised in a field population of the major malaria vector Anopheles coluzzii from Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers state, in the Niger-Delta Region of Nigeria. Larvae collected in Port-Harcourt, were reared to adulthood and used for WHO bioassays. The population exhibited high resistance to permethrin, deltamethrin and DDT with mortalities of 6.7% ± 2.4, 37.5% ± 3.2 and 6.3% ± 4.1, respectively, but were fully susceptible to bendiocarb and malathion. Synergist bioassays with piperonylbutoxide (PBO) partially recovered susceptibility, with mortalities increasing to 53% ± 4, indicating probable role of CYP450s in permethrin resistance (χ2 = 29.48, P < 0.0001). Transcriptional profiling revealed five major resistance-associated genes overexpressed in the field samples compared to the fully susceptible laboratory colony, Ngoussou. Highest fold change (FC) was observed with GSTe2 (FC = 3.3 in permethrin exposed and 6.2 in unexposed) and CYP6Z3 (FC = 1.4 in exposed and 4.6 in unexposed). TaqMan genotyping of 32 F0 females detected the 1014F and 1575Y knockdown resistance (kdr) mutations with frequencies of 0.84 and 0.1, respectively, while 1014S mutation was not detected. Sequencing of a fragment of the voltage-gated sodium channel, spanning exon 20 from 13 deltamethrin-resistant and 9 susceptible females revealed only 2 distinct haplotypes with a low haplotype diversity of 0.33. The findings of high pyrethroid resistance but with a significant degree of recovery after PBO synergist assay suggests the need to move to PBO-based nets. This could be complemented with carbamate- or organophosphate-based indoor residual spraying in this area.
  5. J Med Entomol. 2021 Mar 04. pii: tjab013. [Epub ahead of print]
      SARS-CoV-2 is a recently emerged, highly contagious virus and the cause of the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is a zoonotic virus, although its animal origin is not clear yet. Person-to-person transmission occurs by inhalation of infected droplets and aerosols, or by direct contact with contaminated fomites. Arthropods transmit numerous viral, parasitic, and bacterial diseases; however, the potential role of arthropods in SARS-CoV-2 transmission is not fully understood. Thus far, a few studies have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 replication is not supported in cells from certain insect species nor in certain species of mosquitoes after intrathoracic inoculation. In this study, we expanded the work of SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility to biting insects after ingesting a SARS-CoV-2-infected bloodmeal. Species tested included Culicoides sonorensis (Wirth & Jones) (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) biting midges, as well as Culex tarsalis (Coquillett) and Culex quinquefasciatus (Say) mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae), all known biological vectors for numerous RNA viruses. Arthropods were allowed to feed on SARS-CoV-2-spiked blood and at a time point postinfection analyzed for the presence of viral RNA and infectious virus. Additionally, cell lines derived from C. sonorensis (W8a), Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) (Diptera: Culicidae) (C6/36), Cx. quinquefasciatus (HSU), and Cx. tarsalis (CxTrR2) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility. Our results indicate that none of the biting insects, nor the insect cell lines evaluated support SARS-CoV-2 replication, suggesting that these species are unable to be biological vectors of SARS-CoV-2.
    Keywords:  SARS-CoV-2; midges; mosquito; susceptibility
  6. Malar J. 2021 Mar 06. 20(1): 134
      BACKGROUND: Different forms of mosquito modifications are being considered as potential high-impact and low-cost tools for future malaria control in Africa. Although still under evaluation, the eventual success of these technologies will require high-level public acceptance. Understanding prevailing community perceptions of mosquito modification is, therefore, crucial for effective design and implementation of these interventions. This study investigated community perceptions regarding genetically-modified mosquitoes (GMMs) and their potential for malaria control in Tanzanian villages where no research or campaign for such technologies has yet been undertaken.METHODS: A mixed-methods design was used, involving: (i) focus group discussions (FGD) with community leaders to get insights on how they frame and would respond to GMMs, and (ii) structured questionnaires administered to 490 community members to assess awareness, perceptions and support for GMMs for malaria control. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the findings and thematic content analysis was used to identify key concepts and interpret the findings.
    RESULTS: Nearly all survey respondents were unaware of mosquito modification technologies for malaria control (94.3%), and reported no knowledge of their specific characteristics (97.3%). However, community leaders participating in FGDs offered a set of distinctive interpretive frames to conceptualize interventions relying on GMMs for malaria control. The participants commonly referenced their experiences of cross-breeding for selecting preferred traits in domestic plants and animals. Preferred GMMs attributes included the expected reductions in insecticide use and human labour. Population suppression approaches, requiring as few releases as possible, were favoured. Common concerns included whether the GMMs would look or behave differently than wild mosquitoes, and how the technology would be integrated into current malaria control policies. The participants emphasised the importance and the challenge of educating and engaging communities during the technology development.
    CONCLUSIONS: Understanding how communities perceive and interpret novel technologies is crucial to the design and effective implementation of new vector control programmes. This study offers vital clues on how communities with no prior experience of modified mosquitoes might conceptualize or respond to such technologies when deployed in the context of malaria control programmes. Drawing upon existing interpretive frames and locally-resonant analogies when deploying such technologies may provide a basis for more durable public support in the future.
    Keywords:  Community engagement; Gene drives; Genetically-modified mosquitoes; Malaria elimination; Public perceptions
  7. Med Vet Entomol. 2021 Mar 08.
      A fundamental understanding of plant sugar feeding behaviour in vector populations can lead to the development of ecologically effective vector monitoring and control strategies. Despite previous studies on mosquito-plant interactions, relatively few have been conducted on the dengue vector Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae). The authors studied Ae. aegypti-plant interactions at two sites of varying dengue endemicity in Kenya: Kilifi (endemic) and Isiolo (non-endemic). Using chemical and molecular assays [DNA barcoding targeting the chloroplast ribulose-1,5 bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large chain (rbcL) gene], the authors show that at the two sites plant feeding in this mosquito species: (a) varies by sex and season; (b) results in the acquisition of diverse sugars, and (c) is associated with diverse host plants in the families Fabaceae, Malvaceae, Poaceae and Rosaceae. These results reveal insights into the plant sugar feeding patterns of wild-caught Ae. aegypti and provide a baseline for future studies on the olfactory basis for host plant attraction for the development of vector monitoring and control tools.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Fabaceae; Malvaceae; Poaceae; Rosaceae; dengue; plant sugar feeding; vector
  8. J Med Entomol. 2021 Mar 02. pii: tjab021. [Epub ahead of print]
      Native to the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada, Aedes triseriatus (eastern tree hole mosquito) is an important vector of La Crosse virus and dog heartworm. Although its range has been well characterized in the United States, few studies have surveyed its distribution within Canada. In this study, mosquitoes were collected from a variety of urban and rural communities throughout Manitoba, Canada between the years of 2018 and 2020. Aedes triseriatus was identified and confirmed molecularly to be present in 13 communities. This includes localities that expand the species known distribution to new northern and western areas, and suggests that past surveillance efforts have not been comprehensive or environmental factors have caused this mosquito species to be present in areas in which it was not found previously. As Canada is showing signs of a changing climate, this may be driving the broader occurrence of Ae. triseriatus.
    Keywords:   Aedes hendersoni ; Aedes triseriatus ; surveillance
  9. J Med Entomol. 2021 Mar 12. 58(2): 983-989
      Madagascar is a hotspot of biodiversity, but poverty and population growth provoke a high risk of conflict between food security and biodiversity conservation in this tropical country. Numerous vector-borne diseases, including viral infections, affect public health in Madagascar and a continuous expansion of anthropogenically used areas intensifies contact on the human-wildlife interface. However, data on human and animal pathogens in potential insect vectors is limited. Therefore, we conducted a parasitological and virological survey of 785 adult female mosquitoes between March and May 2016 at the Ankarafantsika National Park in northwestern Madagascar. Screening included Alpha-, Phlebo-, and Flaviviridae and the recently described filarial nematode species, Lemurfilaria lemuris. The predominant mosquito genus was Culex (91%), followed by Mansonia (4.1%), Anopheles (3.4%), and Aedes (0.9%). Viral screening revealed no arboviruses, but an insect-specific flavivirus in two Culex sitiens pools. No pools screened positive for the lemur-specific filarial nematode L. lemuris.
    Keywords:  Ankarafantsika National Park; filarial nematode; mosquito flavivirus
  10. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. 2021 Mar 08.
      Mosquito host utilization is a key factor in the transmission of vector-borne pathogens given that it greatly influences host-vector contact rates. Blood-feeding patterns of mosquitoes are not random, as some mosquitoes feed on particular species and/or individuals more than expected by chance. Mosquitoes use a number of cues including visual, olfactory, acoustic, and thermal stimuli emitted by vertebrate hosts to locate and identify their blood meal sources. Thus, differences in the quality/intensity of the released cues may drive host selection by mosquitoes at both inter- and intra-specific levels. Such patterns of host selection by mosquitoes in space and time can be structured by factors related to mosquitoes (e.g. innate host preference, behavioural plasticity), to hosts (e.g. emission of host-seeking cues, host availability) or to both (e.g. pathogen infection). In this study, we review current evidence, from phenomena to mechanisms, of how these factors influence host utilization by mosquitoes. We also review the methodologies commonly used in this research field and identify the major challenges for future studies. To bridge the knowledge gaps, we propose improvements to strengthen traditional approaches and the use of a functional trait-based approach to infer mosquito host utilization in natural communities.
    Keywords:  blood-feeding; functional traits; host availability; host selection; host-seeking cues; trait-based approaches; vector-borne diseases
  11. J Med Entomol. 2021 Mar 11. pii: tjab028. [Epub ahead of print]
      Microorganisms living in the midgut of Anopheles mosquitoes have been studied to fight vector-borne diseases, such as malaria. Studies on the microbiota of the Neotropical Anopheles darlingi, the most important Brazilian vector for malaria, have been reported for the same purpose. Our aims were to isolate and identify culturable bacteria from An. darlingi mosquito guts through their feces and to estimate the species richness and the frequency distribution of the sampled bacteria. Sixty wild females of An. darlingi mosquitoes were captured at two rural locations, near Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil. Bacteria were isolated from mosquito feces, which were collected using cages which permit the collection of feces on LB nutrient agar plates. Sixty bacterial colonies were isolated and stored in glycerol at -80°C. Bacteria were identified by sequencing their 16S rRNA gene obtained using PCR and Sanger sequencing. To aid in species identification, MALDI-TOF, VITEK2, and BBL Crystal were used as complementary protocols. The sequences obtained from the 60 bacterial isolates were compared to sequences deposited in GenBank (NCBI) using BLAST. Homology greater than 97% between the query and the subject was used as the criteria for assigning the identity of each isolate. Fourteen species from eight different genera were identified among the 60 isolates. The most frequent species were Serratia liquefaciens (20%) and Serratia marcescens (15%). Due to their established apathogenicity and according to previous studies, we suggest Serratia and Pantoea species as suitable for paratransgenesis development to fight malaria in Brazilian Amazon.
    Keywords:  16S rRNA; MALDI-TOF; malaria vector; microbiota; phylogenetic analyses
  12. J Med Entomol. 2021 Mar 11. pii: tjab025. [Epub ahead of print]
      The current review of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is motivated by new technologies and the recent renaissance of male release field trials, which is driving an evolution in mosquito control and regulation. Practitioners that are releasing male mosquitoes would do well to learn from past successes and failures, including political and public engagement complications. With examples that include nuanced integrations of the different technologies, e.g., combinations of Wolbachia and irradiation, it is critical that scientists understand and communicate accurately about the technologies, including their evolving management by different regulatory agencies in the USA. Some male release approaches are considered 'pesticides' and regulated by federal and state agencies, while other male release approaches are unregulated. It is important to consider how the new technologies fit with the more 'traditional' chemical applications of adulticides and larvicides. The economics of male release programs are substantially different from traditional control costs, which can be a challenge to their adoption by abatement districts. However, there is substantial need to overcome these complications and challenges, because the problem with invasive mosquitoes grows ever worse with factors that include insecticide resistance, globalization and climate change.
    Keywords:   Wolbachia ; Sterile Insect Technique; genetic control; incompatible insect technique; pesticide
  13. An Acad Bras Cienc. 2021 ;pii: S0001-37652021000500701. [Epub ahead of print]93(3): e20200670
      Arboviral diseases are disseminated all over the world. In Brazil, they remain neglected, alerting public authorities to possible outbreaks. Over here, we report the epidemiological indicators of Dengue from 2010 to 2015, Zika between 2015 and 2016, and Chikungunya from 2014 to 2016, within 19 municipalities of Southwestern Region of Bahia, Brazil. The data were collected from Brazilian national public information systems (SISFAD, SINAN, and IBGE) and by Endemic Control Agents. The analysis consisted of a description of vector characteristics, Home Infestation Index and characterization of human reported cases. The years 2011 and 2013 were recorded as having the highest frequencies of positive properties for the presence of the arboviruse vectors. Most municipalities presented high annual values of Home Infestation Index indicating an alert situation (62.28%). In the evaluated period, there were (i) 9,196 cases of Dengue, (ii) 636 cases of Zika and (iii) 224 cases of Chikungunya reported. This is the first report of the epidemiological characteristics of these arboviruses in the 19 municipalities of Bahia. It is believed that the data collected may contribute to public health policies aimed at controlling future epidemics of these arboviruses.
  14. J Med Entomol. 2021 Mar 02. pii: tjab017. [Epub ahead of print]
      The distribution of Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) is expanding towards colder regions, which could be aided by an adaptation of the immature stages to the local thermal conditions. This study aimed to assess the developmental success at different temperatures in three populations of Ae. aegypti located across a climate gradient in Argentina. Survival to the adult stage, development time, and wing length at 14, 18.5 and 24°C were compared among three populations of Argentina: Resistencia in the subtropical region, and Buenos Aires and San Bernardo in the temperate region. Survival was similar between populations and equal to or higher than 69%, and increased at higher temperatures within the studied range. Development times were similar between populations. A negative effect of temperature was observed and the reduction of development time at increasing temperatures was stronger for males than for females. Wing lengths were negatively affected by increasing temperatures, and the reduction of wing length was stronger for females than for males. Also, the reduction of wing lengths with temperature was stronger for San Bernardo and Resistencia than for Buenos Aires, and differences between sexes were larger for Resistencia than for Buenos Aires or San Bernardo. Although the results do not evidence differences in survival and development time between temperate and tropical populations, the three populations have a higher tolerance to low temperatures than the populations from other regions.
    Keywords:  development time; immature development; mosquito; survival; winter temperature
  15. Malar J. 2021 Mar 06. 20(1): 135
      BACKGROUND: Cross-border malaria is a major barrier to elimination efforts. Along the Venezuela-Brazil-Guyana border, intense human mobility fueled primarily by a humanitarian crisis and illegal gold mining activities has increased the occurrence of cross-border cases in Brazil. Roraima, a Brazilian state situated between Venezuela and Guyana, bears the greatest burden. This study analyses the current cross-border malaria epidemiology in Northern Brazil between the years 2007 and 2018.METHODS: De-identified data on reported malaria cases in Brazil were obtained from the Malaria Epidemiological Surveillance Information System for the years 2007 to 2018. Pearson's Chi-Square test of differences was utilized to assess differences between characteristics of cross-border cases originating from Venezuela and Guyana, and between border and transnational cases. A logistic regression model was used to predict imported status of cases.
    RESULTS: Cross-border cases from Venezuela and Guyana made up the majority of border and transnational cases since 2012, and Roraima remained the largest receiving state for cross-border cases over this period. There were significant differences in the profiles of border and transnational cases originating from Venezuela and Guyana, including type of movement and nationality of patients. Logistic regression results demonstrated Venezuelan and Guyanese nationals, Brazilian miners, males, and individuals of working age had heightened odds of being an imported case. Furthermore, Venezuelan citizens had heightened odds of seeking care in municipalities adjacent Venezuela, rather than transnational municipalities.
    CONCLUSIONS: Cross-border malaria contributes to the malaria burden at the Venezuela-Guyana-Brazil border. The identification of distinct profiles of case importation provides evidence on the need to strengthen surveillance at border areas, and to deploy tailored strategies that recognize different mobility routes, such as the movement of refuge-seeking individuals and of Brazilians working in mining.
    Keywords:  Cross-border malaria; Imported malaria; Malaria elimination
  16. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(3): e0247811
      BACKGROUND: Heterogeneity and focalization are the most common epidemiological characteristics of endemic countries in the Americas, where malaria transmission is moderate and low. During malaria elimination, the first step is to perform a risk stratification exercise to prioritize interventions. This study aimed to identify malaria risk strata in the ecoepidemiological regions of Colombia.METHODS: This was a descriptive and retrospective study using cumulative malaria cases in 1,122 municipalities of Colombia from 2010 to 2019. To identify the strata, the criteria proposed by PAHO were adapted. To classify the receptive areas (strata 2, 3, and 4) and nonreceptive areas (stratum 1), 1,600 m above sea level, ecotypes, main malaria vector presence, Plasmodium species prevalence and occurrence of malaria cases were used. The area occupied by the receptive municipalities, the cumulative burden, and the at-risk population in the regions were calculated.
    RESULTS: Ninety-one percent of the Colombian territory is receptive to the transmission of malaria and includes 749 municipalities with 9,734,271 (9,514,243-9,954,299) million at-risk inhabitants. Stratum 4 accounted for 96.7% of the malaria burden, and cases were concentrated primarily in the Pacific and Uraba-Bajo Cauca-Sinu-San Jorge regions. Plasmodium vivax predominates in most of the receptive municipalities, except in the municipalities of the Pacific region, where P. falciparum predominates. Anopheles albimanus, An. nuneztovari s.l., and An. darlingi were the main vectors in receptive areas.
    CONCLUSIONS: In Colombia, 91.2% of the territory is receptive to the transmission of malaria and is characterized by being both heterogeneous and focused. Stratum 4 contains the greatest burden of disease, with a relatively greater proportion of municipalities with a predominance of P. vivax. However, there is a low proportion of municipalities with P. falciparum mainly in the Pacific region. These findings suggest that the latter be prioritized within the malaria elimination plan in Colombia.
  17. BMC Public Health. 2021 Mar 11. 21(1): 487
      BACKGROUND: Africans pour dirty water around their houses which constitutes aquatic habitats (AH). These AH are sought by mosquitoes for larval development. Recent studies have shown the effectiveness of destroying AH around houses in reducing malaria incidence. An agent-based model is proposed for controlling malaria's incidence through population sensitizing campaigns on the harmful effects of AH around houses.METHODS: The environment is constituted of houses, AH, mosquitoes, humans, and hospital. Malaria's spread dynamic is linked to the dynamics of humans and mosquitoes. The mosquito's dynamic is represented by egg-laying and seeking blood. The human's dynamic is animated by hitting mosquitoes. AH are destroyed each time by 10% of their starting number. The number of infected humans varied from 0-90 which led to a total of 1001 simulations.
    RESULTS: When the number of houses and AH is equal, the results are approximate as the field data. At each reduction of AH, the incidence and prevalence tend more and more towards 0. When there is no AH and infected humans, the prevalence and incidence are at 0.
    CONCLUSIONS: When there is no AH site, the disease disappears completely. Global destruction of AH in an environment and using many parameters in the same model are recommended.
    Keywords:  ABM; Aquatic habitat; Grouping; Malaria; Management
  18. Elife. 2021 Mar 09. pii: e56974. [Epub ahead of print]10
      As countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) increasingly focus their malaria control and elimination efforts on reducing forest-related transmission, greater understanding of the relationship between deforestation and malaria incidence will be essential for programs to assess and meet their 2030 elimination goals. Leveraging village-level health facility surveillance data and forest cover data in a spatio-temporal modeling framework, we found evidence that deforestation is associated with short-term increases, but long-term decreases in confirmed malaria case incidence in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). We identified strong associations with deforestation measured within 30 km of villages but not with deforestation in the near (10 km) and immediate (1 km) vicinity. Results appear driven by deforestation in densely forested areas and were more pronounced for infections with Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) than for Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax). These findings highlight the influence of forest activities on malaria transmission in the GMS.
    Keywords:  P. falciparum; epidemiology; global health
  19. Nat Commun. 2021 03 10. 12(1): 1555
      A counterargument to the importance of climate change for malaria transmission has been that regions where an effect of warmer temperatures is expected, have experienced a marked decrease in seasonal epidemic size since the turn of the new century. This decline has been observed in the densely populated highlands of East Africa at the center of the earlier debate on causes of the pronounced increase in epidemic size from the 1970s to the 1990s. The turnaround of the incidence trend around 2000 is documented here with an extensive temporal record for malaria cases for both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax in an Ethiopian highland. With statistical analyses and a process-based transmission model, we show that this decline was driven by the transient slowdown in global warming and associated changes in climate variability, especially ENSO. Decadal changes in temperature and concurrent climate variability facilitated rather than opposed the effect of interventions.
  20. Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Mar 02. pii: ciab161. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: A detailed understanding of the contribution of the asymptomatic Plasmodium reservoir to the occurrence of clinical malaria at individual and community levels is needed to guide effective elimination interventions. This study investigated the relationship between asymptomatic P. falciparum carriage and subsequent clinical malaria episodes in Dielmo and Ndiop villages in Senegal.METHODS: The study used a total of 2,792 venous and capillary blood samples obtained from asymptomatic individuals and clinical malaria datasets collected from 2013 to 2016. Mapping, spatial clustering of infections and risk analysis were performed using georeferenced households.
    RESULTS: High incidences of clinical malaria episodes were observed to occur predominantly in households of asymptomatic P. falciparum carriers. A statistically significant association was found between asymptomatic carriage in a household and subsequent episode of clinical malaria occurring in that household for each individual year (p-values were 0.0017, 6x10 -5, 0.005, and 0.008 for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 respectively) and the combined years (p=8.5x10 -8), which was not found at the individual level. In both villages, no significant patterns of spatial clustering of P. falciparum clinical cases was found, but there was a higher risk of clinical episodes <25m from asymptomatic individuals in Ndiop attributable to clustering within households.
    CONCLUSION: The findings provide strong epidemiological evidence linking the asymptomatic P. falciparum reservoir to clinical malaria episodes at household scale in Dielmo and Ndiop villagers. This argues for a likely success of a mass testing and treatment intervention to move towards the elimination of malaria in Dielmo and Ndiop villages.
    Keywords:  asymptomatic; clinical malaria; clustering; interventions; malaria