bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2021‒09‒12
nineteen papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Sep 06. 14(1): 446
      BACKGROUND: Dengue, Zika and chikungunya are arboviruses of significant public health importance that are transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. In Colombia, where dengue is hyperendemic, and where chikungunya and Zika were introduced in the last decade, more than half of the population lives in areas at risk. The objective of this study was to characterize Aedes spp. vectors and study their natural infection with dengue, Zika and chikungunya in Ibagué, a Colombian city and capital of the department of Tolima, with case reports of simultaneous circulation of these three arboviruses.METHODS: Mosquito collections were carried out monthly between June 2018 and May 2019 in neighborhoods with different levels of socioeconomic status. We used the non-parametric Friedman, Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests to compare mosquito density distributions. We applied logistic regression analyses to identify associations between mosquito density and absence/presence of breeding sites, and the Spearman correlation coefficient to analyze the possible relationship between climatic variables and mosquito density.
    RESULTS: We collected Ae. aegypti in all sampled neighborhoods and found for the first time Ae. albopictus in the city of Ibagué. A greater abundance of mosquitoes was collected in neighborhoods displaying low compared to high socioeconomic status as well as in the intradomicile compared to the peridomestic space. Female mosquitoes predominated over males, and most of the test females had fed on human blood. In total, four Ae. aegypti pools (3%) were positive for dengue virus (serotype 1) and one pool for chikungunya virus (0.8%). Interestingly, infected females were only collected in neighborhoods of low socioeconomic status, and mostly in the intradomicile space.
    CONCLUSIONS: We confirmed the co-circulation of dengue (serotype 1) and chikungunya viruses in the Ae. aegypti population in Ibagué. However, Zika virus was not detected in any mosquito sample, 3 years after its introduction into the country. The positivity for dengue and chikungunya viruses, predominance of mosquitoes in the intradomicile space and the high proportion of females fed on humans highlight the high risk for arbovirus transmission in Ibagué, but may also provide an opportunity for establishing effective control strategies.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Aedes albopictus; Chikungunya; Colombia; Dengue; Zika
  2. Trends Parasitol. 2021 Sep 02. pii: S1471-4922(21)00199-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases. Because of the ineffectiveness of current malaria-control methods, several novel mosquito vector-based control strategies have been proposed to supplement existing control strategies. Mosquito transgenesis and gene drive have emerged as promising tools for preventing the spread of malaria by either suppressing mosquito populations by self-destructing mosquitoes or replacing mosquito populations with disease-refractory populations. Here we review the development of mosquito transgenesis and its application for malaria control, highlighting the transgenic expression of antiparasitic effector genes, inactivation of host factor genes, and manipulation of miRNAs and lncRNAs. Overall, from a malaria-control perspective, mosquito transgenesis is not envisioned as a stand-alone approach; rather, its use is proposed as a complement to existing vector-control strategies.
    Keywords:  Anopheles; Plasmodium; antiparasitic effectors; gene drive; host factors; mosquito transgenesis; vector control
  3. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Sep 07. 14(1): 458
      BACKGROUND: Vector-borne diseases are a major cause of disease burden in Guayaquil, Ecuador, especially arboviruses spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Understanding which household characteristics and risk factors lead to higher Ae. aegypti densities and consequent disease risk can help inform and optimize vector control programs.METHODS: Cross-sectional entomological surveys were conducted in Guayaquil between 2013 and 2016, covering household demographics, municipal services, potential breeding containers, presence of Ae. aegypti larvae and pupae, and history of using mosquito control methods. A zero-truncated negative binomial regression model was fitted to data for estimating the household pupal index. An additional model assessed the factors of the most productive breeding sites across all of the households.
    RESULTS: Of surveyed households, 610 satisfied inclusion criteria. The final household-level model found that collection of large solid items (e.g., furniture and tires) and rainfall the week of and 2 weeks before collection were negatively correlated with average pupae per container, while bed canopy use, unemployment, container water volume, and the interaction between large solid collection and rainfall 2 weeks before the sampling event were positively correlated. Selection of these variables across other top candidate models with ∆AICc < 1 was robust, with the strongest effects from large solid collection and bed canopy use. The final container-level model explaining the characteristics of breeding sites found that contaminated water is positively correlated with Ae. aegypti pupae counts while breeding sites composed of car parts, furniture, sewerage parts, vases, were all negatively correlated.
    CONCLUSIONS: Having access to municipal services like bulky item pickup was effective at reducing mosquito proliferation in households. Association of bed canopy use with higher mosquito densities is unexpected, and may be a consequence of large local mosquito populations or due to limited use or effectiveness of other vector control methods. The impact of rainfall on mosquito density is multifaceted, as it may both create new habitat and "wash out" existing habitat. Providing services and social/technical interventions focused on monitoring and eliminating productive breeding sites is important for reducing aquatic-stage mosquito densities in households at risk for Ae. aegypti-transmitted diseases.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Arbovirus; Collection services; Household risk factors; Mosquito; Precipitation; Predictive modeling
  4. Vet Med Sci. 2021 Sep 10.
      BACKGROUND: West Nile Disease (WND) is a zoonotic mosquito-borne infection involving viral pathogens, human and animal hosts, vectors and environment. Cooperation among medical, veterinary and entomological fields has been promoted by the Italian Public Health Authorities, and an integrated West Nile Virus (WNV) Surveillance Plan has been in force in Italy since 2016 to prevent the transmission risk of WND to humans through an early detection of viral circulation by animal and entomological surveillance. This managing model is unique in Europe.OBJECTIVES: This survey aimed at presenting the 'One Health' approach applied in 2016 to the first autochthonous human case of West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease (WNND) in Sicily (Southern Italy).
    METHODS: Serological (anti-WNV IgM and IgG ELISA, anti-WNV neutralizing antibodies) and molecular tests were conducted on blood, liquor and urine of a 38-year-old man with encephalitis and meningitis. Overall, 2704 adult culicides from 160 mosquito catches were morphologically identified. Female mosquitoes were analysed in pools for WNV RNA detection. Serological (anti-WNV IgM and IgG ELISA) and molecular analyses for WNV were carried out in 11 horses, 271 chickens and two dogs sampled in farms around the man's residence.
    RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: WNND was confirmed by serological analysis on patient's liquor and serum. Collected mosquito species included Culex pipiens (93.56%, CI95% 92.64%-94.49%), Aedes albopictus (5.25%, CI95% 4.41%-6.09%), Culex hortensis (0.59%, CI95% 0.30%-0.88%), Culiseta longiareolata (0.55%, CI95% 0.27%-0.83%) and Anopheles maculipennis s.l. (0.04%, CI95% -0.04% to 0.11%). Mosquito pools were negative for WNV RNA. Two dogs (100%) and two horses (18.18%, CI95% -4.61 to 40.97%) resulted positive for anti-WNV specific antibodies. The 'One Health' approach allowed to report the first human neuroinvasive WND in Sicily and to confirm the local circulation of WNV in animals of the same area where the clinical case occurred, defining the autochthonous origin of the infection.
    Keywords:  Integrated Surveillance System; Italy; West Nile Virus; human case; mosquito; ‘One Health’
  5. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Sep 07. 15(9): e0009752
      BACKGROUND: Biological control programs involving Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti are currently deployed in different epidemiological settings. New Caledonia (NC) is an ideal location for the implementation and evaluation of such a strategy as the only proven vector for dengue virus (DENV) is Ae. aegypti and dengue outbreaks frequency and severity are increasing. We report the generation of a NC Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti strain and the results of experiments to assess the vector competence and fitness of this strain for future implementation as a disease control strategy in Noumea, NC.METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The NC Wolbachia strain (NC-wMel) was obtained by backcrossing Australian AUS-wMel females with New Caledonian Wild-Type (NC-WT) males. Blocking of DENV, chikungunya (CHIKV), and Zika (ZIKV) viruses were evaluated via mosquito oral feeding experiments and intrathoracic DENV challenge. Significant reduction in infection rates were observed for NC-wMel Ae. aegypti compared to WT Ae. aegypti. No transmission was observed for NC-wMel Ae. aegypti. Maternal transmission, cytoplasmic incompatibility, fertility, fecundity, wing length, and insecticide resistance were also assessed in laboratory experiments. Ae. aegypti NC-wMel showed complete cytoplasmic incompatibility and a strong maternal transmission. Ae. aegypti NC-wMel fitness seemed to be reduced compared to NC-WT Ae. aegypti and AUS-wMel Ae. aegypti regarding fertility and fecundity. However further experiments are required to assess it accurately.
    CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results demonstrated that the NC-wMel Ae. aegypti strain is a strong inhibitor of DENV, CHIKV, and ZIKV infection and prevents transmission of infectious viral particles in mosquito saliva. Furthermore, our NC-wMel Ae. aegypti strain induces reproductive cytoplasmic incompatibility with minimal apparent fitness costs and high maternal transmission, supporting field-releases in Noumea, NC.
  6. J Med Entomol. 2021 Sep 06. pii: tjab151. [Epub ahead of print]
      Both female and male mosquitoes consume sugar meals to obtain carbohydrates used for energy. This behavior has recently been identified as a possible mosquito control target, as the World Health Organization has urged for the development of integrated vector management. This is critical as many medically important mosquito species are developing insecticide resistance, resulting in current control strategies becoming less effective. Additionally, the traditional use of insecticides is detrimental to many beneficial insects such as pollinators. The main goal of this study was to develop an attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB) to limit the populations of a local invasive mosquito, Aedes j. japonicus (Theobald) (Diptera: Culicidae). An ATSB is a lure bait composed of an attractant odorant, a toxic component, and sugar that the mosquitoes can feed on. ATSBs are cost-effective, sustainable, environmentally friendly, and can be species-specific. Mosquitoes were isolated into cages or cups and each group had access to either a toxic sugar solution (containing boric acid), a control solution or a choice between the two. We tested multiple fruits, including mango, peach, blueberries, and blackberries, as well as a soda and grape juice and monitored their survival for 96 h. We found that this species fed on all tested fruit solutions and that the groups that imbibed toxic solutions died within 48 h, indicating that boric acid is an effective oral toxin against Ae. j. japonicus. Further experiments will be conducted in the field to determine the ATSBs efficacy and to monitor potential effects on off-target species.
    Keywords:   Aedes ; ATSB; invasive species; mosquito; mosquito control
  7. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Sep 07. pii: tpmd201088. [Epub ahead of print]
      Evidence on the effectiveness of low-cost, sustainable biological vector control tools for Aedes mosquitoes is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this trial was to estimate the impact of guppy fish in combination with the larvicide pyriproxyfen (PPF) (Sumilarv® 2MR) and communication for behavioral impact (COMBI) activities to reduce entomological indices in Cambodia. In this cluster randomized, controlled superiority trial, 30 clusters comprised of one or more villages each was allocated in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive either 1) all three interventions (guppies, PPF, and COMBI), 2) two interventions (guppies and COMBI), or 3) control (standard vector control). Entomological surveys among 40 randomly selected households per cluster were carried out quarterly. The primary outcome was the population abundance of adult female Aedes mosquitoes trapped using adult resting collections. In the primary analysis, adult female Aedes abundance and mosquito infection rates was aggregated over follow-up time points to give a single rate per cluster. These data were analyzed by negative binomial regression, yielding abundance ratios (ARs). The number of Aedes females was reduced roughly by half compared with the control in both the guppy, PPF, and COMBI arm (AR = 0.54; 95% CI, 0.34-0.85; P = 0.0073); and the guppy and COMBI arm (AR = 0.49; 95% CI, 0.31-0.77; P = 0.0021). The effectiveness demonstrated and extremely low cost of including fish rearing in community-based health structures suggest they should be considered as a vector control tool as long as the benefits outweigh any potential environmental concerns. Sumilarv® 2MR was also highly accepted and preferred over current vector control tools used in Cambodia.
  8. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Sep 06. 14(1): 449
      BACKGROUND: For over a decade, monitoring of West Nile virus (WNV) in Germany has consisted of a bird monitoring programme as well as a mosquito-based surveillance programme employing CO2-baited encephalitis vector surveillance (EVS) traps for mass trapping and screening of mosquitoes. In contrast to the EVS traps, the Reiter/Cummings type box gravid trap collects gravid female mosquitoes, which have already taken a blood meal, increasing the likelihood of being infected with pathogens. The traps can be equipped with a honey-baited Flinders Technology Associates® (FTA) card to encourage sugar feeding by the trapped mosquitoes. FTA cards contain nucleic acid preserving substances, which prevent the degradation of viral RNA in the expectorated mosquito saliva and allows for testing the card for flavivirus RNA. This study aimed to assess the suitability of the method for WNV surveillance in Germany as an alternative to previous methods, which are expensive, time-consuming, and predominantly target host-seeking populations less likely to be infected with WNV.METHODS: In the Thüringer Zoopark Erfurt, snowy owls (Nyctea scandiaca) and greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) died of WNV infections in July and August 2020. In response, five Reiter/Cummings type box gravid traps were positioned during the daytime on the 10th, 13th, and 16th of September in five different locations. The FTA cards and mosquitoes in the chamber were collected, kept in a cool chain, and further processed for virus detection using a modified generic flavivirus reverse transcription PCR.
    RESULTS: A total of 15 trappings during September collected a total of 259 female mosquitoes, 97% of which were Culex pipiens sensu lato, as well as 14 honey-baited FTA cards. Eight mosquitoes tested PCR-positive for WNV. Four FTA cards tested PCR-positive for mosquito-borne flaviviruses, two of which were confirmed as WNV, and the remaining two confirmed as Usutu virus.
    CONCLUSION: The suitability of the FTA cards in preserving viral RNA in the field and rapid turnaround time from collection to result is combined with a simple, cost-effective, and highly specific trapping method to create an arbovirus surveillance system, which circumvents many of the difficulties of previous surveillance programmes that required the analysis of mosquitoes in the laboratory.
    Keywords:  Arbovirus; Culicidae; Public health; Saliva; Surveillance; Veterinary health; West Nile virus
  9. Sci Rep. 2021 Sep 10. 11(1): 18055
      The scale up of indoor residual spraying (IRS) and insecticide treated nets have contributed significantly to global reductions in malaria prevalence over the last two decades. However, widespread pyrethroid resistance has necessitated the use of new and more expensive insecticides for IRS. Partial IRS with pirimiphos-methyl in experimental huts and houses in a village-wide trial was evaluated against Anopheles gambiae s.l. in northern Ghana. Four different scenarios in which either only the top or bottom half of the walls of experimental huts were sprayed, with or without also spraying the ceiling were compared. Mortality of An. gambiae s.l. on partially sprayed walls was compared with the standard procedures in which all walls and ceiling surfaces are sprayed. A small-scale trial was then conducted to assess the effectiveness, feasibility, and cost of spraying only the upper walls and ceiling as compared to full IRS and no spraying in northern Ghana. Human landing catches were conducted to estimate entomological indices and determine the effectiveness of partial IRS. An established transmission dynamics model was parameterized by an analysis of the experimental hut data and used to predict the epidemiological impact and cost effectiveness of partial IRS for malaria control in northern Ghana. In the experimental huts, partial IRS of the top (IRR 0.89, p = 0.13) or bottom (IRR 0.90, p = 0.15) half of walls and the ceiling was not significantly less effective than full IRS in terms of mosquito mortality. In the village trial, the annual entomological inoculation rate was higher for the unsprayed control (217 infective bites/person/year (ib/p/yr)) compared with the fully and partially sprayed sites, with 28 and 38 ib/p/yr, respectively. The transmission model predicts that the efficacy of partial IRS against all-age prevalence of malaria after six months would be broadly equivalent to a full IRS campaign in which 40% reduction is expected relative to no spray campaign. At scale, partial IRS in northern Ghana would have resulted in a 33% cost savings ($496,426) that would enable spraying of 36,000 additional rooms. These findings suggest that partial IRS is an effective, feasible, and cost saving approach to IRS that could be adopted to sustain and expand implementation of this key malaria control intervention.
  10. Acta Trop. 2021 Sep 01. pii: S0001-706X(21)00302-8. [Epub ahead of print] 106123
      Around 27% of South Americans live in central and southern Brazil. Of 19,400 human malaria cases in Brazil in 2018, some were from the southern and southeastern states. High abundance of malaria vectors is generally positively associated with malaria incidence. Expanding geographic distributions of Anopheles vector mosquito species (e.g. A. cruzii) in the face of climate change processes would increase risk of such malaria transmission; such risk is of particular concern in regions that hold human population concentrations near present limits of vector species' geographic distributions. We modeled effects of likely climate changes on the distribution of A. cruzii, evaluating two scenarios of future greenhouse gas emissions for 2050, as simulated in 21 general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) for 2050. We tested 1305 candidate models, and chose among them based on statistical significance, predictive performance, and complexity. The models closely approximated the known geographic distribution of the species under current conditions. Under scenarios of future climate change, we noted increases in suitable area for the mosquito vector species in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states, including areas close to 30 densely populated cities. Under RCP 8.5, our models anticipate areal increases of >75% for this important malaria vector in the vicinity of 20 large Brazilian cities. We developed models that anticipate increased suitability for the mosquito species; around 50% of Brazilians reside in these areas, and ∼89% of foreign tourists visit coastal areas in this region. Under climate change thereefore, the risk and vulnerability of human populations to malaria transmission appears bound to increase.
    Keywords:  Ecological niche modelling; Parasite; Plasmodium; Public health risk; Vector
  11. mBio. 2021 Sep 07. e0292320
      Wolbachia is a maternally transmitted bacterium that is widespread in arthropods and filarial nematodes and confers strong antiviral protection in Drosophila melanogaster and other arthropods. Wolbachia-transinfected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are currently being deployed to fight transmission of dengue and Zika viruses. However, the mechanism of antiviral protection and the factors influencing are still not fully understood. Here, we show that temperature modulates Wolbachia-conferred protection in Drosophila melanogaster. Temperature after infection directly impacts Drosophila C virus (DCV) replication and modulates Wolbachia protection. At higher temperatures, viruses proliferate more and are more lethal, while Wolbachia confers lower protection. Strikingly, host developmental temperature is a determinant of Wolbachia-conferred antiviral protection. While there is strong protection when flies develop from egg to adult at 25°C, the protection is highly reduced or abolished when flies develop at 18°C. However, Wolbachia-induced changes during development are not sufficient to limit virus-induced mortality, as Wolbachia is still required to be present in adults at the time of infection. This developmental effect is general, since it was present in different host genotypes, Wolbachia variants, and upon infection with different viruses. Overall, we show that Wolbachia-conferred antiviral protection is temperature dependent, being present or absent depending on the environmental conditions. This interaction likely impacts Wolbachia-host interactions in nature and, as a result, frequencies of host and symbionts in different climates. Dependence of Wolbachia-mediated pathogen blocking on developmental temperature could be used to dissect the mechanistic bases of protection and influence the deployment of Wolbachia to prevent transmission of arboviruses. IMPORTANCE Insects are often infected with beneficial intracellular bacteria. The bacterium Wolbachia is extremely common in insects and can protect them from pathogenic viruses. This effect is being used to prevent transmission of dengue and Zika viruses by Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes. To understand the biology of insects in the wild, we need to discover which factors affect Wolbachia-conferred antiviral protection. Here, we show that the temperature at which insects develop from eggs to adults can determine the presence or absence of antiviral protection. The environment, therefore, strongly influences this insect-bacterium interaction. Our work may help to provide insights into the mechanism of viral blocking by Wolbachia, deepen our understanding of the geographical distribution of host and symbiont, and incentivize further research on the temperature dependence of Wolbachia-conferred protection for control of mosquito-borne disease.
    Keywords:  Drosophila; Wolbachia; development; symbiosis; temperature; virus
  12. Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 10. 12(1): 5374
      The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the principal vector for arboviruses including dengue/yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus, infecting hundreds of millions of people annually. Unfortunately, traditional control methodologies are insufficient, so innovative control methods are needed. To complement existing measures, here we develop a molecular genetic control system termed precision-guided sterile insect technique (pgSIT) in Aedes aegypti. PgSIT uses a simple CRISPR-based approach to generate flightless females and sterile males that are deployable at any life stage. Supported by mathematical models, we empirically demonstrate that released pgSIT males can compete, suppress, and even eliminate mosquito populations. This platform technology could be used in the field, and adapted to many vectors, for controlling wild populations to curtail disease in a safe, confinable, and reversible manner.
  13. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Sep;15(9): e0009631
      BACKGROUND: This systematic review aims to assess how different urbanisation patterns related to rapid urban growth, unplanned expansion, and human population density affect the establishment and distribution of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus and create favourable conditions for the spread of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses.METHODS AND FINDINGS: Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a systematic review was conducted using the PubMed, Virtual Health Library, Cochrane, WHO Library Database (WHOLIS), Google Scholar, and and the Institutional Repository for Information Sharing (IRIS) databases. From a total of 523 identified studies, 86 were selected for further analysis, and 29 were finally analysed after applying all inclusion and exclusion criteria. The main explanatory variables used to associate urbanisation with epidemiological/entomological outcomes were the following: human population density, urban growth, artificial geographical space, urban construction, and urban density. Associated with the lack of a global definition of urbanisation, several studies provided their own definitions, which represents one of the study's limitations. Results were based on 8 ecological studies/models, 8 entomological surveillance studies, 7 epidemiological surveillance studies, and 6 studies consisting of spatial and predictive models. According to their focus, studies were categorised into 2 main subgroups, namely "Aedes ecology" and "transmission dynamics." There was a consistent association between urbanisation and the distribution and density of Aedes mosquitoes in 14 of the studies and a strong relationship between vector abundance and disease transmission in 18 studies. Human population density of more than 1,000 inhabitants per square kilometer was associated with increased levels of arboviral diseases in 15 of the studies.
    CONCLUSIONS: The use of different methods in the included studies highlights the interplay of multiple factors linking urbanisation with ecological, entomological, and epidemiological parameters and the need to consider a variety of these factors for designing effective public health approaches.
  14. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Sep;15(9): e0009653
      West Nile virus (WNV) is a globally distributed mosquito-borne virus of great public health concern. The number of WNV human cases and mosquito infection patterns vary in space and time. Many statistical models have been developed to understand and predict WNV geographic and temporal dynamics. However, these modeling efforts have been disjointed with little model comparison and inconsistent validation. In this paper, we describe a framework to unify and standardize WNV modeling efforts nationwide. WNV risk, detection, or warning models for this review were solicited from active research groups working in different regions of the United States. A total of 13 models were selected and described. The spatial and temporal scales of each model were compared to guide the timing and the locations for mosquito and virus surveillance, to support mosquito vector control decisions, and to assist in conducting public health outreach campaigns at multiple scales of decision-making. Our overarching goal is to bridge the existing gap between model development, which is usually conducted as an academic exercise, and practical model applications, which occur at state, tribal, local, or territorial public health and mosquito control agency levels. The proposed model assessment and comparison framework helps clarify the value of individual models for decision-making and identifies the appropriate temporal and spatial scope of each model. This qualitative evaluation clearly identifies gaps in linking models to applied decisions and sets the stage for a quantitative comparison of models. Specifically, whereas many coarse-grained models (county resolution or greater) have been developed, the greatest need is for fine-grained, short-term planning models (m-km, days-weeks) that remain scarce. We further recommend quantifying the value of information for each decision to identify decisions that would benefit most from model input.
  15. Malar J. 2021 Sep 08. 20(1): 364
      Sub-Saharan Africa is registering one of the highest urban population growth across the world. It is estimated that over 75% of the population in this region will be living in urban settings by 2050. However, it is not known how this rapid urbanization will affect vector populations and disease transmission. The present study summarizes findings from studies conducted in urban settings between the 1970s and 2020 to assess the effects of urbanization on the entomological inoculation rate pattern and anopheline species distribution. Different online databases such as PubMed, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, Google were screened. A total of 90 publications were selected out of 1527. Besides, over 200 additional publications were consulted to collate information on anopheline breeding habitats and species distribution in urban settings. The study confirms high malaria transmission in rural compared to urban settings. The study also suggests that there had been an increase in malaria transmission in most cities after 2003, which could also be associated with an increase in sampling, resources and reporting. Species of the Anopheles gambiae complex were the predominant vectors in most urban settings. Anopheline larvae were reported to have adapted to different aquatic habitats. The study provides updated information on the distribution of the vector population and the dynamic of malaria transmission in urban settings. The study also highlights the need for implementing integrated control strategies in urban settings.
    Keywords:  Anopheles; Bionomic; Entomological inoculation rate; Malaria; Sub-Saharan Africa; Urbanization
  16. One Health. 2021 Dec;13 100315
      West Nile Virus (WNV) has recently emerged as a major public health concern in Europe; its recent expansion also coincided with some remarkable socio-economic and environmental changes, including an economic crisis and some of the warmest temperatures on record. Here we empirically investigate the drivers of this phenomenon at a European wide scale by constructing and analyzing a unique spatial-temporal data-set, that includes data on climate, land-use, the economy, and government spending on environmental related sectors. Drivers and risk factors of WNV were identified by building a conceptual framework, and relationships were tested using a Generalized Additive Model (GAM), which could capture complex non-linear relationships and also account for spatial and temporal auto-correlation. Some of the key risk factors identified in our conceptual framework, such as a higher percentage of wetlands and arable land, climate factors (higher summer rainfall and higher summer temperatures) were positive predictors of WNV infections. Interestingly, winter temperatures of between 2 °C and 6 °C were among some of the strongest predictors of annual WNV infections; one possible explanation for this result is that successful overwintering of infected adult mosquitoes (likely Culex pipiens) is key to the intensity of outbreaks for a given year. Furthermore, lower surface water extent over the summer is also associated with more intense outbreaks, suggesting that drought, which is known to induce positive changes in WNV prevalence in mosquitoes, is also contributing to the upward trend in WNV cases in affected regions. Our indicators representing the economic crisis were also strong predictors of WNV infections, suggesting there is an association between austerity and cuts to key sectors, which could have benefited vector species and the virus during this crucial period. These results, taken in the context of recent winter warming due to climate change, and more frequent droughts, may offer an explanation of why the virus has become so prevalent in Europe.
    Keywords:  Austerity; Climate-change; Drought; Economic-crisis; Mosquito; Vector-borne-disease; West-Nile-virus
  17. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Sep 07. pii: tpmd210325. [Epub ahead of print]
      Malaria elimination and eradication efforts have stalled globally. Further, asymptomatic infections as silent transmission reservoirs are considered a major challenge to malaria elimination efforts. There is increased interest in a mass screen-and-treat (MSAT) strategy as an alternative to mass drug administration to reduce malaria burden and transmission in endemic settings. This study systematically synthesized the existing evidence on MSAT, from both epidemiological and economic perspectives. Searches were conducted on six databases (PubMed, EMBASE, CINALH, Web of Science, Global Health, and Google Scholar) between October and December 2020. Only experimental and quasi-experimental studies assessing the effectiveness and/or cost-effectiveness of MSAT in reducing malaria prevalence or incidence were included. Of the 2,424 citation hits, 14 studies based on 11 intervention trials were eligible. Eight trials were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa and three trials in Asia. While five trials targeted the community as a whole, pregnant women were targeted in five trials, and school children in one trial. Transmission setting, frequency, and timing of MSAT rounds, and measured outcomes varied across studies. The pooled effect size of MSAT in reducing malaria incidence and prevalence was marginal and statistically nonsignificant. Only one study conducted an economic evaluation of the intervention and found it to be cost-effective when compared with the standard of care of no MSAT. We concluded that the evidence for implementing MSAT as part of a routine malaria control program is growing but limited. More research is necessary on its short- and longer-term impacts on clinical malaria and malaria transmission and its economic value.
  18. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(9): e0257104
      BACKGROUND: In the Malaysian state of Sabah, P. knowlesi notifications increased from 2% (59/2,741) of total malaria notifications in 2004 to 98% (2030/2,078) in 2017. There was a gap regarding P. knowlesi acquisition risk factors related to practice specifically in working age group. The main objective of this study was to identify the risk factors for acquiring P. knowlesi infection in Sabah among the working age group.METHODS AND METHODS: This retrospective population-based case-control study was conducted in Ranau district to assess sociodemographic, behavioural and medical history risk factors using a pretested questionnaire. The data were entered and analyzed using IBM SPSS version 23. Bivariate analysis was conducted using binary logistic regression whereas multivariate analysis was conducted using multivariable logistic regression. We set a statistical significance at p-value less than or equal to 0.05.
    RESULTS: A total of 266 cases and 532 controls were included in the study. Male gender (AOR = 2.71; 95% CI: 1.63-4.50), spending overnight in forest (AOR = 1.92; 95% CI: 1.20-3.06), not using mosquito repellent (AOR = 2.49; 95% CI: 1.36-4.56) and history of previous malaria infection (AOR = 49.34; 95% CI: 39.09-78.32) were found to be independent predictors of P. knowlesi infection.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study showed the need to strengthen the strategies in preventing and controlling P. knowlesi infection specifically in changing the practice of spending overnight in forest and increasing the usage of personal mosquito repellent.
  19. Eval Program Plann. 2021 Aug 18. pii: S0149-7189(21)00086-0. [Epub ahead of print] 101991
      West Nile virus (WNV) is endemic in the Po valley area in northern Italy. Regional health authorities have implemented integrated WNV surveillance following a One Health approach, based on collaboration between human, animal and environmental health institutions. We evaluated this integrated WNV surveillance system in Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Piedmont regions by means of a process evaluation. We examined the system's implementation fidelity, dose delivered and received, reach, and we identified strengths and weaknesses in the system. Qualitative and semi-quantitative data were obtained from three regional focus groups. Data were discussed in a follow up focus group, where participants suggested recommendations for improving the surveillance system. Inter-institutional and interdisciplinary integration and the creation of a 'community of practice' were identified as key elements for effective surveillance. We identified differences in the degree of interdisciplinary integration in the three regions, likely due to different epidemiological situations and years of experience in surveillance implementation. Greater collaboration and sharing of information, public engagement and economic assessments of the integrated surveillance approach would facilitate its social recognition and guarantee its sustainability through dedicated funding. We demonstrate that a transdisciplinary research approach based on process evaluation has value for designing and fine-tuning integrated health surveillance systems.
    Keywords:  One Health; Process evaluation; Surveillance; Surveillance system evaluation; West Nile Virus