bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2021‒08‒08
fifteen papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. Parasitol Res. 2021 Aug 02.
      Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are the largest group of blood-feeding insects that disturb not only humans but also other mammals and birds. This study reports the presence of native mosquito species in the regional unit of Thessaloniki and the monitoring of their population. In total, 13 mosquito species belonging to four genera were identified. The most dominant species was Culex pipiens, followed by Aedes caspius. In the present study, we report for the first time the presence of Ae. vittatus in Greece and of Anopheles plumbeus in the regional unit of Thessaloniki. Regarding the seasonal variation, species of the genus Aedes were the ones that first appeared in late March, followed by Culex species at the end of April and finally species of the genus Anopheles in July. Species of the Aedes genus were found to be the most abundant in the first quarter of the year (late March to early April). Population of Cx. pipiens remained at high levels from late April to late September. Species of the genus Anopheles were found in high densities from early August to October. The current study contributes to the knowledge of the mosquito species composition and their relative abundance in an area where West Nile virus caused severe epidemic outbreaks.
    Keywords:  Aedes vittatus; Culex pipiens; Greece; Mosquito species; Public health importance; Seasonal abundance
  2. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(8): e0248604
      Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is one of the main malaria vector control strategies in Mozambique alongside the distribution of insecticide treated nets. As part of the national insecticide resistance management strategy, Mozambique introduced SumiShield™ 50WG, a third generation IRS product, in 2018. Its residual efficacy was assessed in southern Mozambique during the 2018-2019 malaria season. Using a susceptible Anopheles arabiensis strain, residual efficacy was assessed on two different wall surfaces, cement and mud-plastered walls, using standard WHO (World Health Organization) cone bioassay tests at three different heights. Female mosquitoes of two age groups (2-5 and 13-26 day old) were exposed for 30 minutes, after which mortality was observed 24h, 48h, 72h, and 96h and 120h post-exposure to assess (delayed) mortality. Lethal times (LT) 90, LT50 and LT10 were estimated using Bayesian models. Mortality 24h post exposure was consistently below 80%, the current WHO threshold value for effective IRS, in both young and old mosquitoes, regardless of wall surface type. Considering delayed mortality, residual efficacies (mosquito mortality equal or greater than 80%) ranged from 1.5 to ≥12.5 months, with the duration depending on mortality time post exposure, wall type and mosquito age. Looking at mortality 72h after exposure, residual efficacy was between 6.5 and 9.5 months, depending on wall type and mosquito age. The LT50 and LT10 (i.e. 90% of the mosquitoes survive exposure to the insecticides) values were consistently higher for older mosquitoes (except for LT10 values for 48h and 72h post-exposure mortality) and ranged from 0.9 to 5.8 months and 0.2 to 7.8 months for LT50 and LT10, respectively. The present study highlights the need for assessing mosquito mortality beyond the currently recommended 24h post exposure. Failure to do so may lead to underestimation of the residual efficacy of IRS products, as delayed mortality will lead to a further reduction in mosquito vector populations and potentially negatively impact disease transmission. Monitoring residual efficacy on relevant wall surfaces, including old mosquitoes that are ultimately responsible for malaria transmission, and assessing delayed mortalities are critical to provide accurate and actionable data to guide vector control programmes.
  3. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Aug 03. 14(1): 384
      The impacts and limitations of personal protection measures against exposure to vectors of malaria and other mosquito-borne pathogens depend on behavioural interactions between humans and mosquitoes. Therefore, understanding where and when they overlap in time and space is critical. Commonly used approaches for calculating behaviour-adjusted estimates of human exposure distribution deliberately use soft classification of where and when people spend their time, to yield nuanced and representative distributions of mean exposure to mosquito bites across entire human populations or population groups. However, these weighted averages rely on aggregating individual-level data to obtain mean human population distributions across the relevant behavioural classes for each time increment, so they cannot be used to test for variation between individuals. Also, these summary outcomes are quite complex functions of the disaggregated data, so they do not match the standard binomial or count distributions to which routine off-the-shelf statistical tools may be confidently applied. Fortunately, the proportions of exposure to mosquito bites that occur while indoors or asleep can also be estimated in a simple binomial fashion, based on hard classification of human location over a given time increment, as being either completely indoors or completely outdoors. This simplified binomial approach allows convenient analysis with standard off-the-shelf logistic regression tools, to statistically assess variations between individual humans, human population subsets or vector species. Such simplified binomial estimates of behavioural interactions between humans and mosquitoes should be more widely used for estimating confidence intervals around means of these indicators, comparing different vector populations and human population groups, and assessing the influence of individual behaviour on exposure patterns and infection risk. Also, standard sample size estimation techniques may be readily used to estimate necessary minimum experimental scales and data collection targets for field studies recording these indicators as key outcomes. Sample size calculations for field studies should allow for natural geographic variation and seasonality, taking advantage of rolling cross-sectional designs to survey and re-survey large numbers of separate study locations in a logistically feasible manner.
    Keywords:  Aedes; Anopheles; Arbovirus; Behaviour; Culex; Human–vector interaction; Lymphatic filariasis; Malaria; Mansonia; Mosquito; Plasmodium
  4. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Aug 02. pii: tpmd210436. [Epub ahead of print]
      Infection by the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus (CHIKV) causes acute febrile illness and debilitating arthralgia. Outbreaks are sometimes not recognized because of its clinical resemblance to the more common dengue fever ubiquitous in tropical countries. An upsurge of dengue-like illness was reported in Satun province located in southern Thailand during the rainy season in 2018. We investigated probable outbreak of CHIKV disease. We collected serum samples from 127 patients and tested for CHIKV infection based on nucleic acid and serological tests. CHIKV RNA amplified by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and IgM antibody against CHIKV were determined by immunochromatographic rapid test. Mosquitoes in the community were also trapped and tested for CHIKV. Conventional RT-PCR on initially positive samples was performed to obtain nucleotide sequences for subsequent phylogenetic analysis. In all, 39% (50/127) of the samples tested positive for CHIKV RNA, IgM, or both. Of these, CHIKV RNA was identified in 17% (21/127) of the samples. Fourteen percent (18/127) of the samples were simultaneously positive for both IgM and IgG, which suggest recent infection. One sample tested positive for both CHIKV IgM and RNA. Several samples from Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes were also CHIKV RNA-positive. Sequence analysis revealed that the Satun CHIKV belonged to the Indian Ocean lineage within the East/Central/South African (ECSA) clade with residues K211E and A226 in the E1 gene, and G205S and V264A in the E2 gene. The ECSA strain of CHIKV continues to evolve and possesses virulent potential despite causing prior outbreaks in the region.
  5. J Med Entomol. 2021 Aug 03. pii: tjab137. [Epub ahead of print]
      Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762) is a major vector responsible for dengue transmission. Insecticides are being used as the most effective tool to control vector populations in Lahore, Pakistan. Control of Ae. aegypti is threatened by the development of resistance against insecticides. The current status of insecticide resistance was evaluated against pyrethroids (deltamethrin, cypermethrin, and lambda-cyhalothrin) in different populations of Lahore (Model Town, Mishri Shah, Sadar Cantt, Walton, and Valencia). The susceptibility of the larval and adult populations was tested following the standard WHO guidelines. Moderate to high levels of resistance were found against pyrethroids in the larval (RR50: 3.6-27.2 and RR90: 5-90) and adult populations (percentage mortality < 98%). Biochemical assays revealed a statistically significant increase in the enzyme level in all field populations compared to the laboratory strain. The value of esterase was one-fold higher, monooxygenase was 3.9- to 4.7-fold higher, and glutathione S-transferases was 1.9- to 2.6-fold higher in field populations compared to the laboratory strain. These results depict the presence of resistance against deltamethrin, cypermethrin, and lambda-cyhalothrin in field populations of Lahore mediated by metabolic enzymes i.e. esterases, monooxygenases, and glutathione S-transferase.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; detoxifying enzyme; insecticide resistance
  6. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Aug 02. pii: tpmd201625. [Epub ahead of print]
      Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits arboviral diseases such as dengue (DENV), chikungunya (CHIKV), and Zika viruses (ZIKV), is present in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Individuals at risk of mosquito-borne disease (MBD) in the urban tropics face daily challenges linked to their socio-environment conditions, such as poor infrastructure, poverty, crowding, and limited access to adequate healthcare. These daily demands induce chronic stress events and dysregulated immune responses. We sought to investigate the role of socio-ecologic risk factors in distress symptoms and their impact on biological responses to MBD in Machala, Ecuador. Between 2017 and 2019, individuals (≥ 18 years) with suspected arbovirus illness (DENV, ZIKV, and CHIKV) from sentinel clinics were enrolled (index cases, N = 28). Cluster investigations of the index case households and people from four houses within a 200-m radius of index home (associate cases, N = 144) were conducted (total N = 172). Hair samples were collected to measure hair cortisol concentration (HCC) as a stress biomarker. Blood samples were collected to measure serum cytokines concentrations of IL-10, IL-8, TNF-α, and TGF-β. Univariate analyses were used to determine the association of socio-health metrics related to perceived stress scores (PSS), HCC, and immune responses. We found that housing conditions influence PSS and HCC levels in individuals at risk of MBD. Inflammatory cytokine distribution was associated with the restorative phase of immune responses in individuals with low-moderate HCC. These data suggest that cortisol may dampen pro-inflammatory responses and influence activation of the restorative phase of immune responses to arboviral infections.
  7. Oecologia. 2021 Aug 02.
      Processes that change with density are inherent in all populations, yet quantifying density dependence with empirical data remains a challenge. This is especially true for animals recruiting in patchy landscapes because heterogeneity in habitat quality in combination with habitat choice can obscure patterns expected from density dependence. Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) typically experience strong density dependence when larvae compete for food, however, effects vary across species and contexts. If populations experience intense intraspecific density-dependent mortality then overcompensation can occur, where the number of survivors declines at high densities producing complex endogenous dynamics. To seek generalizations about density dependence in a widespread species of Arctic mosquito, Aedes nigripes, we combined a laboratory experiment, field observations, and modeling approaches. We evaluated alternative formulations of discrete population models and compared best-performing models from our lab study to larval densities from ponds in western Greenland. Survivorship curves from the lab were the best fit by a Hassell model with compensating density dependence (equivalent to a Beverton-Holt model) where peak recruitment ranged from 8 to 80 mosquitoes per liter depending on resource supply. In contrast, our field data did not show a signal of strong density dependence, suggesting that other processes such as predation may lower realized densities in nature, and that expected patterns may be obscured because larval abundance covaries with resources (cryptic density dependence). Our study emphasizes the importance of covariation between the environment, habitat choice, and density dependence in understanding population dynamics across landscapes, and demonstrates the value of pairing lab and field studies.
    Keywords:  Arctic; Beverton-Holt; Hassell model; Mosquitoes; Overcompensation; Resource competition
  8. Virusdisease. 2021 Jul 26. 1-7
      Newly emerging or re-emerging infections are posing continuous threat to both public health system and clinical care globally. The emergence of infections especially caused by arboviruses can be linked to several mechanisms which include geographical expansion linked to human development and transportation, global warming, enhanced transmission in peridomestic area and close proximity of human habitations to domestic as well as wild animals. The co-circulation of Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika is a matter of public health priority due to the fact that they are transmitted by the same vector as well as increase in the number of reported cases of severe dengue, post-chikungunya chronic joint disease and microcephaly related to Zika virus disease. The study was designed to estimate the prevalence of these arboviral infections in Odisha. About 5198 cases presenting with common clinical symptoms of fever, arthralgia, headache, myalgia and malaise were screened during 2016-2019. A total of 42.2% patients tested positive for dengue NS1 antigen (n = 4154), 30.2% for dengue IgM (n = 2161) and 14.3% for chikungunya IgM (n = 1816). A total of 1684 samples were subjected to Zika RT-PCR and none was tested positive. Peak in the numbers of dengue/ chikungunya cases was evident in the post-monsoon months of July - October. Circulation of all four serotypes of dengue i.e. DEN 1, 2, 3, and 4 was noticed in the state. Molecular investigation of suspected Chik cases in early phases showed circulation of Eastern Central Southern African genotype (E1:226A). There is dearth of knowledge about disease severity during arbovirus co-infections and importance of adequate management of patients at an early stage residing in risk areas. It is the first study in Odisha to study the pattern and status of these three arboviral diseases Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika. The outcome of this study will help in focusing and improvement of existing surveillance systems and vector control tools, as well as on the development of suitable antiviral agents and formulating candidate vaccine.
    Keywords:  Chikungunya; Dengue; Odisha; Zika
  9. Sci Rep. 2021 Aug 04. 11(1): 15781
      In Central Africa, the malaria vector Anopheles coluzzii is predominant in urban and coastal habitats. However, little is known about the environmental factors that may be involved in this process. Here, we performed an analysis of 28 physicochemical characteristics of 59 breeding sites across 5 urban and rural sites in coastal areas of Central Africa. We then modelled the relative frequency of An. coluzzii larvae to these physicochemical parameters in order to investigate environmental patterns. Then, we assessed the expression variation of 10 candidate genes in An. coluzzii, previously incriminated with insecticide resistance and osmoregulation in urban settings. Our results confirmed the ecological plasticity of An. coluzzii larvae to breed in a large range of aquatic conditions and its predominance in breeding sites rich in ions. Gene expression patterns were comparable between urban and rural habitats, suggesting a broad response to ions concentrations of whatever origin. Altogether, An. coluzzii exhibits a plastic response to occupy both coastal and urban habitats. This entails important consequences for malaria control in the context of the rapid urban expansion in Africa in the coming years.
  10. Microorganisms. 2021 Jul 02. pii: 1431. [Epub ahead of print]9(7):
      Malaria is the most common vector-borne parasitic infection causing significant human morbidity and mortality in nearly 90 tropical/sub-tropical countries worldwide. Significant differences exist in the incidence of malaria cases, dominant Plasmodium species, drug-resistant strains and mortality rates in different countries. Six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, UAE) in the Middle East region with similar climates, population demographics and economic prosperity are aiming to achieve malaria elimination. In this narrative review, all studies indexed in PubMed describing epidemiological characteristics of indigenous and imported malaria cases, vector control status and how malaria infections can be controlled to achieve malaria elimination in GCC countries were reviewed and discussed. These studies have shown that indigenous malaria cases are absent in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and UAE and have progressively declined in Oman and Saudi Arabia. However, imported malaria cases continue to occur as GCC countries have large expatriate populations originating from malaria-endemic countries. Various malaria control and prevention strategies adopted by GCC countries including more stringent measures to reduce the likelihood of importing malaria cases by prior screening of newly arriving expatriates and vector elimination programs are likely to lead to malaria elimination in this region.
    Keywords:  GCC countries; epidemiology; expatriates; imported malaria; prevalence
  11. Bull World Health Organ. 2021 Aug 01. 99(8): 583-592
      Water-related diseases such as diarrhoeal diseases from viral, bacterial and parasitic organisms and Aedes-borne arboviral diseases are major global health problems. We believe that these two disease groups share common risk factors, namely inadequate household water management, poor sanitation and solid waste management. Where water provision is inadequate, water storage is essential. Aedes mosquitoes commonly breed in household water storage containers, which can hold water contaminated with enteric disease-causing organisms. Microbiological contamination of water between source and point-of-use is a major cause of reduced drinking-water quality. Inadequate sanitation and solid waste management increase not only risk of water contamination, but also the availability of mosquito larval habitats. In this article we discuss integrated interventions that interrupt mosquito breeding while also providing sanitary environments and clean water. Specific interventions include improving storage container design, placement and maintenance and scaling up access to piped water. Vector control can be integrated into sanitation projects that target sewers and drains to avoid accumulation of stagnant water. Better management of garbage and solid waste can reduce the availability of mosquito habitats while improving human living conditions. Our proposed integration of disease interventions is consistent with strategies promoted in several global health frameworks, such as the sustainable development goals, the global vector control response, behavioural change, and water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives. Future research should address how interventions targeting water, sanitation, hygiene and community waste disposal also benefit Aedes-borne disease control. The projected effects of climate change mean that integrated management and control strategies will become increasingly important.
  12. Malar J. 2021 Aug 04. 20(1): 336
      BACKGROUND: Universal coverage with long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) is an essential component of malaria control programmes. Three-yearly mass distribution of LLINs in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has been successful in reducing infection transmission since 2009, but malaria prevalence ramped up from 2015 onwards. Although LLIN universal coverage is mostly achieved during these campaigns, it may not be related with net use over time. Uses given to LLINs and non-compliance of this strategy were evaluated.METHODS: A knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) cross-sectional study was conducted in Lihir Islands, PNG, 2-2.5 years after the last LLIN mass distribution campaign. Data on bed net ownership, use and maintenance behaviour was collected using a household questionnaire administered by trained community volunteers. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with owning at least one LLIN and sleeping under a LLIN the previous night.
    RESULTS: Among 2694 households surveyed, 27.4 % (95 % CI: 25.8-29.2) owned at least one LLIN and 8.7 % (95 % CI: 7.6-9.8) had an adequate LLIN coverage (at least one LLIN for every two people). Out of 13,595 individuals in the surveyed households, 13.6 % (95 % CI: 13.0--4.2) reported having slept under a LLIN the preceding night. Determinants for sleeping under LLIN included living in a household with adequate LLIN coverage [adjusted OR (aOR) = 5.82 (95 % CI: 3.23-10.49)], household heads knowledge about LLINs [aOR = 16.44 (95 % CI: 8.29-32.58)], and female gender [aOR = 1.92 (95 % CI: 1.53-2.40)] (all p-values < 0.001). LLIN use decreased with older age [aOR = 0.29 (95 % CI: 0.21-0.40) for ≥ 15 year-olds, aOR = 0.38 (95 % CI: 0.27-0.55) for 5-14 year-olds] compared to < 5 year-olds (p-value < 0.001). Knowledge on the use of LLIN was good in 37.0 % of the household heads. Repurposed nets were reported serving as fishing nets (30.4 %), fruits and seedlings protection (26.6 %), covering up food (19.0 %) and bed linen (11.5 %).
    CONCLUSIONS: Two years after mass distribution, LLIN coverage and use in Lihir Islands is extremely low. Three yearly distribution campaigns may not suffice to maintain an acceptable LLIN coverage unless knowledge on maintenance and use is promoted trough educational campaigns.
    Keywords:  Bed net; Coverage; LLIN; Long-lasting insecticidal net; Malaria; Papua New Guinea; Repurposing; Vector control
  13. Nat Rev Genet. 2021 Aug 06.
      Gene drives are selfish genetic elements that are transmitted to progeny at super-Mendelian (>50%) frequencies. Recently developed CRISPR-Cas9-based gene-drive systems are highly efficient in laboratory settings, offering the potential to reduce the prevalence of vector-borne diseases, crop pests and non-native invasive species. However, concerns have been raised regarding the potential unintended impacts of gene-drive systems. This Review summarizes the phenomenal progress in this field, focusing on optimal design features for full-drive elements (drives with linked Cas9 and guide RNA components) that either suppress target mosquito populations or modify them to prevent pathogen transmission, allelic drives for updating genetic elements, mitigating strategies including trans-complementing split-drives and genetic neutralizing elements, and the adaptation of drive technology to other organisms. These scientific advances, combined with ethical and social considerations, will facilitate the transparent and responsible advancement of these technologies towards field implementation.
  14. J Infect Dev Ctries. 2021 Jul 31. 15(7): 1032-1034
    Keywords:  Aedes mosquito; Northern Cyprus; Zika virus; blood donors; emerging disease
  15. Pathogens. 2021 Jul 05. pii: 844. [Epub ahead of print]10(7):
      Although in humans West Nile virus is mainly the cause of mild or sub-clinical infections, in some cases a neuroinvasive disease may occur predominantly in the elderly. In Italy, several cases of West Nile virus infection are reported every year. Tuscany was the first Italian region where the virus was identified; however, to date only two cases of infection have been reported in humans. This study aimed at evaluating the prevalence of antibodies against West Nile virus in the area of Siena Province to estimate the recent circulation of the virus. Human serum samples collected in Siena between 2016 and 2019 were tested for the presence of antibodies against West Nile virus by ELISA. ELISA positive samples were further evaluated using immunofluorescence, micro neutralization, and plaque reduction neutralization assays. In total, 1.9% (95% CI 1.2-3.1) and 1.4% (95% CI 0.8-2.4) of samples collected in 2016-2017 were positive by ELISA and immunofluorescence assay, respectively. Neutralizing antibodies were found in 0.7% (95% CI 0.3-1.5) of samples. Additionally, 0.9% (95% CI 0.4-1.7) and 0.65% (95% CI 0.3-1.45) of samples collected in 2018-2019 were positive by ELISA and immunofluorescence assay, respectively. The prevalence of neutralizing antibodies was 0.5% (95% CI 0.2-1.3). Although no human cases of West Nile infection were reported in the area between 2016 and 2019 and virus prevalence in the area of Siena Province was as low as less than 1%, the active asymptomatic circulation confirms the potential concern of this emergent virus for human health.
    Keywords:  Italy; West Nile virus; antibody; seroprevalence