bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2021‒01‒17
fifteen papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. F1000Res. 2019 ;8 1328
      Background: Rio de Janeiro and Niterói municipalities in southeastern Brazil experience large dengue epidemics every 2 to 5 years, with >100,000 cases notified in epidemic years. Costs of vector control and direct and indirect costs due to the Aedes-borne diseases dengue, chikungunya and Zika were estimated to total $650 million USD in 2016, but traditional vector control strategies have not been effective in preventing arboviral disease outbreaks. The Wolbachia method is a novel and self-sustaining approach for the biological control of arboviral diseases, in which the transmission potential of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes is reduced by stably transfecting them with the Wolbachia bacterium. This paper describes a study protocol for evaluating the effect of large-scale non-randomised releases of Wolbachia mosquitoes on the incidence of dengue, Zika and chikungunya in the municipalities of Niterói and Rio de Janeiro. This follows a lead-in period since 2014 involving intensive community engagement, regulatory and public approval, entomological surveys, and small-scale pilot releases. Method: The planned releases during 2017-2019 cover a combined area of 121 km2 with a resident population of 1.1 million, across the two cities. Untreated areas with comparable historical dengue profiles and sociodemographic characteristics have been identified a priori as comparative control areas in each municipality. The proposed pragmatic epidemiological approach combines a controlled interrupted time series analysis of routinely notified suspected and laboratory-confirmed arboviral cases, together with monitoring of arbovirus activity utilising outbreak signals routinely used in public health disease surveillance. Discussion: If the current project is successful, this model for control of arboviral disease through Wolbachia releases can be expanded nationally and regionally.
    Keywords:  Brazil; Wolbachia; Zika; chikungunya; controlled interrupted time series; dengue; disease surveillance; vector-borne disease
  2. Vaccines (Basel). 2021 Jan 08. pii: E32. [Epub ahead of print]9(1):
      Arthropod-borne viruses (Arboviruses) continue to generate significant health and economic burdens for people living in endemic regions. Of these viruses, some of the most important (e.g., dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever virus), are transmitted mainly by Aedes mosquitoes. Over the years, viral infection control has targeted vector population reduction and inhibition of arboviral replication and transmission. This control includes the vector control methods which are classified into chemical, environmental, and biological methods. Some of these control methods may be largely experimental (both field and laboratory investigations) or widely practised. Perceptively, one of the biological methods of vector control, in particular, Wolbachia-based control, shows a promising control strategy for eradicating Aedes-borne arboviruses. This can either be through the artificial introduction of Wolbachia, a naturally present bacterium that impedes viral growth in mosquitoes into heterologous Aedes aegypti mosquito vectors (vectors that are not natural hosts of Wolbachia) thereby limiting arboviral transmission or via Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which naturally harbour Wolbachia infection. These strategies are potentially undermined by the tendency of mosquitoes to lose Wolbachia infection in unfavourable weather conditions (e.g., high temperature) and the inhibitory competitive dynamics among co-circulating Wolbachia strains. The main objective of this review was to critically appraise published articles on vector control strategies and specifically highlight the use of Wolbachia-based control to suppress vector population growth or disrupt viral transmission. We retrieved studies on the control strategies for arboviral transmissions via arthropod vectors and discussed the use of Wolbachia control strategies for eradicating arboviral diseases to identify literature gaps that will be instrumental in developing models to estimate the impact of these control strategies and, in essence, the use of different Wolbachia strains and features.
    Keywords:  Aedes-borne; Wolbachia; arboviruses; controls; vectors
  3. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2021 Jan 12.
      For effective control of vector-borne diseases and control of nuisance-biting insects, it is important to know which species are present and their relative abundance. In this study, we report data from a State-supported mosquito surveillance program in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city. The surveillance identified 29 different species: 24 Culicines and 5 Anopheline species. Culicine mosquitoes included 17 in the genus Aedes, 3 Culex, 3 Culiseta, and 1 Mansonia species. The relative abundance of each genera was consistent in years 2014, 2015, and 2016; namely Aedes>Culex>Anopheles. In 2017, Aedes and Culex mosquitoes were approximately the same, predominating over Anopheles. A declining trend in the numbers of mosquitoes collected from 2013 to 2017 has not only several potential explanations, including increased urbanization and more effective control, but also may reflect changes in surveillance efforts.
    Keywords:  Ukraine; mosquitoes; surveillance
  4. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Jan 11. 14(1): 41
      BACKGROUND: Despite the licensure of the world's first dengue vaccine and the current development of additional vaccine candidates, successful Aedes control remains critical to the reduction of dengue virus transmission. To date, there is still limited literature that attempts to explain the spatio-temporal population dynamics of Aedes mosquitoes within a single city, which hinders the development of more effective citywide vector control strategies. Narrowing this knowledge gap requires consistent and longitudinal measurement of Aedes abundance across the city as well as examination of relationships between variables on a much finer scale.METHODS: We utilized a high-resolution longitudinal dataset generated from Singapore's islandwide Gravitrap surveillance system over a 2-year period and built a Bayesian hierarchical model to explain the spatio-temporal dynamics of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in relation to a wide range of environmental and anthropogenic variables. We also created a baseline during our model assessment to serve as a benchmark to be compared with the model's out-of-sample prediction/forecast accuracy as measured by the mean absolute error.
    RESULTS: For both Aedes species, building age and nearby managed vegetation cover were found to have a significant positive association with the mean mosquito abundance, with the former being the strongest predictor. We also observed substantial evidence of a nonlinear effect of weekly maximum temperature on the Aedes abundance. Our models generally yielded modest but statistically significant reductions in the out-of-sample prediction/forecast error relative to the baseline.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that public residential estates with older buildings and more nearby managed vegetation should be prioritized for vector control inspections and community advocacy to reduce the abundance of Aedes mosquitoes and the risk of dengue transmission.
    Keywords:  Aedes; Dengue; Spatio-temporal modeling; Vector control
  5. Insects. 2021 Jan 11. pii: E58. [Epub ahead of print]12(1):
      Indoor and outdoor ovitraps were placed in 15 randomly selected houses in two rural villages in Chiapas, southern Mexico. In addition, ovitraps were placed in five transects surrounding each village, with three traps per transect, one at the edge, one at 50 m, and another at 100 m from the edge of the village. All traps were inspected weekly. A transect with eight traps along a road between the two villages was also included. Population fluctuations of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus were examined during 2016-2018 by counting egg numbers. A higher number of Aedes spp. eggs was recorded at Hidalgo village with 257,712 eggs (60.9%), of which 58.1% were present in outdoor ovitraps and 41.9% in indoor ovitraps, compared with 165,623 eggs (39.1%) collected in the village of Río Florido, 49.0% in outdoor and 51.0% in indoor ovitraps. A total of 84,047 eggs was collected from ovitraps placed along transects around Río Florido, compared to 67,542 eggs recorded from transects around Hidalgo. Fluctuations in egg counts were associated with annual variation in precipitation, with 2.3 to 3.2-fold more eggs collected from ovitraps placed in houses and 4.8 to 5.1-fold more eggs in ovitraps from the surrounding transects during the rainy season than in the dry season, respectively. Aedes aegypti was the dominant species during the dry season and at the start of the rainy season in both villages. Aedes albopictus populations were lower for most of the dry season, but increased during the rainy season and predominated at the end of the rainy season in both villages. Aedes albopictus was also the dominant species in the zones surrounding both villages. The numbers of eggs collected from intradomiciliary ovitraps were strongly correlated with the numbers of eggs in peridomiciliary ovitraps in both Río Florido (R2adj = 0.92) and Hidalgo (R2adj = 0.94), suggesting that peridomiciliary sampling could provide an accurate estimate of intradomiciliary oviposition by Aedes spp. in future studies in these villages. We conclude that the feasibility of sterile insect technique (SIT)-based program of vector control could be evaluated in the isolated Ae. aegypti populations in the rural villages of our baseline study.
    Keywords:  baseline study; dengue; oviposition traps; vector control
  6. Malar J. 2021 Jan 10. 20(1): 36
      BACKGROUND: Many countries, including Rwanda, have mosquito monitoring programmes in place to support decision making in the fight against malaria. However, these programmes can be costly, and require technical (entomological) expertise. Involving citizens in data collection can greatly support such activities, but this has not yet been thoroughly investigated in a rural African context.METHODS: Prior to the implementation of such a citizen-science approach, a household entomological survey was conducted in October-November 2017 and repeated one year later in Busoro and Ruhuha sectors, in southern and eastern province of Rwanda, respectively. The goal was to evaluate the perception of mosquito nuisance reported by citizens as a potential indicator for malaria vector hotspots. Firstly, mosquito abundance and species composition were determined using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light traps inside the houses. Secondly, household members were interviewed about malaria risk factors and their perceived level of mosquito nuisance.
    RESULTS: Tiled roofs, walls made of mud and wood, as well as the number of occupants in the house were predictors for the number of mosquitoes (Culicidae) in the houses, while the presence of eaves plus walls made of mud and wood were predictors for malaria vector abundance. Perception of mosquito nuisance reported indoors tended to be significantly correlated with the number of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) and Culicidae collected indoors, but this varied across years and sectors. At the village level, nuisance also significantly correlated with An. gambiae s.l. and total mosquito density, but only in 2018 while not in 2017.
    CONCLUSIONS: Perception of mosquito nuisance denoted in a questionnaire survey could be used as a global indicator of malaria vector hotspots. Hence, involving citizens in such activities can complement malaria vector surveillance and control.
    Keywords:  Anopheles; Culicidae; House features; Livestock; Malaria; Perceived mosquito nuisance; Surveillance
  7. Commun Biol. 2021 Jan 15. 4(1): 69
      Inter-host transmission of pathogenic arboviruses such as dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) requires systemic infection of the mosquito vector. Successful systemic infection requires initial viral entry and proliferation in the midgut cells of the mosquito followed by dissemination to secondary tissues and eventual entry into salivary glands1. Lack of arbovirus proliferation in midgut cells has been observed in several Aedes aegypti strains2, but the midgut antiviral responses underlying this phenomenon are not yet fully understood. We report here that there is a rapid induction of apoptosis (RIA) in the Aedes aegypti midgut epithelium within 2 hours of infection with DENV-2 or ZIKV in both in vivo blood-feeding and ex vivo midgut infection models. Inhibition of RIA led to increased virus proliferation in the midgut, implicating RIA as an innate immune mechanism mediating midgut infection in this mosquito vector.
  8. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Jan 11. 14(1): 42
      BACKGROUND: Novel malaria vector control approaches aim to combine tools for maximum protection. This study aimed to evaluate novel and re-evaluate existing putative repellent 'push' and attractive 'pull' components for manipulating the odour orientation of malaria vectors in the peri-domestic space.METHODS: Anopheles arabiensis outdoor human landing catches and trap comparisons were implemented in large semi-field systems to (i) test the efficacy of Citriodiol® or transfluthrin-treated fabric strips positioned in house eave gaps as push components for preventing bites; (ii) understand the efficacy of MB5-baited Suna-traps in attracting vectors in the presence of a human being; (iii) assess 2-butanone as a CO2 replacement for trapping; (iv) determine the protection provided by a full push-pull set up. The air concentrations of the chemical constituents of the push-pull set-up were quantified.
    RESULTS: Microencapsulated Citriodiol® eave strips did not provide outdoor protection against host-seeking An. arabiensis. Transfluthrin-treated strips reduced the odds of a mosquito landing on the human volunteer (OR 0.17; 95% CI 0.12-0.23). This impact was lower (OR 0.59; 95% CI 0.52-0.66) during the push-pull experiment, which was associated with low nighttime temperatures likely affecting the transfluthrin vaporisation. The MB5-baited Suna trap supplemented with CO2 attracted only a third of the released mosquitoes in the absence of a human being; however, with a human volunteer in the same system, the trap caught < 1% of all released mosquitoes. The volunteer consistently attracted over two-thirds of all mosquitoes released. This was the case in the absence ('pull' only) and in the presence of a spatial repellent ('push-pull'), indicating that in its current configuration the tested 'pull' does not provide a valuable addition to a spatial repellent. The chemical 2-butanone was ineffective in replacing CO2. Transfluthrin was detectable in the air space but with a strong linear reduction in concentrations over 5 m from release. The MB5 constituent chemicals were only irregularly detected, potentially suggesting insufficient release and concentration in the air for attraction.
    CONCLUSION: This step-by-step evaluation of the selected 'push' and 'pull' components led to a better understanding of their ability to affect host-seeking behaviours of the malaria vector An. arabiensis in the peri-domestic space and helps to gauge the impact such tools would have when used in the field for monitoring or control.
    Keywords:  Citriodiol; GC-FID; Malaria; Outdoor-biting; PMD; Semi-field study; Spatial repellent; Transfluthrin; Vector control
  9. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 13. 11(1): 939
      Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that affects nearly 3.9 billion people globally. Dengue remains endemic in Malaysia since its outbreak in the 1980's, with its highest concentration of cases in the state of Selangor. Predictors of dengue fever outbreaks could provide timely information for health officials to implement preventative actions. In this study, five districts in Selangor, Malaysia, that demonstrated the highest incidence of dengue fever from 2013 to 2017 were evaluated for the best machine learning model to predict Dengue outbreaks. Climate variables such as temperature, wind speed, humidity and rainfall were used in each model. Based on results, the SVM (linear kernel) exhibited the best prediction performance (Accuracy = 70%, Sensitivity = 14%, Specificity = 95%, Precision = 56%). However, the sensitivity for SVM (linear) for the testing sample increased up to 63.54% compared to 14.4% for imbalanced data (original data). The week-of-the-year was the most important predictor in the SVM model. This study exemplifies that machine learning has respectable potential for the prediction of dengue outbreaks. Future research should consider boosting, or using, nature inspired algorithms to develop a dengue prediction model.
  10. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 13. 11(1): 923
      Over 390 million people worldwide are infected with dengue fever each year. In the absence of an effective vaccine for general use, national control programs must rely on hospital readiness and targeted vector control to prepare for epidemics, so accurate forecasting remains an important goal. Many dengue forecasting approaches have used environmental data linked to mosquito ecology to predict when epidemics will occur, but these have had mixed results. Conversely, human mobility, an important driver in the spatial spread of infection, is often ignored. Here we compare time-series forecasts of dengue fever in Thailand, integrating epidemiological data with mobility models generated from mobile phone data. We show that geographically-distant provinces strongly connected by human travel have more highly correlated dengue incidence than weakly connected provinces of the same distance, and that incorporating mobility data improves traditional time-series forecasting approaches. Notably, no single model or class of model always outperformed others. We propose an adaptive, mosaic forecasting approach for early warning systems.
  11. Mol Ecol. 2021 Jan 09.
      Population genomic approaches can characterise dispersal across a single generation through to many generations in the past, bridging the gap between individual movement and intergenerational gene flow. These approaches are particularly useful when investigating dispersal in recently altered systems, where they provide a way of inferring long-distance dispersal between newly established populations and their interactions with existing populations. Human-mediated biological invasions represent such altered systems which can be investigated with appropriate study designs and analyses. Here we apply temporally-restricted sampling and a range of population genomic approaches to investigate dispersal in a 2004 invasion of Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito) in the Torres Strait Islands (TSI) of Australia. We sampled mosquitoes from 13 TSI villages simultaneously and genotyped 373 mosquitoes at genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): 331 from the TSI, 36 from Papua New Guinea (PNG), and 4 incursive mosquitoes detected in uninvaded regions. Within villages, spatial genetic structure varied substantially but overall displayed isolation by distance and a neighbourhood size of 232-577. Close kin dyads revealed recent movement between islands 31-203 km apart, and deep learning inferences showed incursive Ae. albopictus had travelled to uninvaded regions from both adjacent and non-adjacent islands. Private alleles and a coancestry matrix indicated direct gene flow from PNG into nearby islands. Outlier analyses also detected four linked alleles introgressed from PNG, with the alleles surrounding 12 resistance-associated cytochrome P450 genes. By treating dispersal as both an intergenerational process and a set of discrete events, we describe a highly interconnected invasive system.
    Keywords:   Aedes albopictus ; adaptive introgression; biological invasion; dispersal; genetic invasion; kinship
  12. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(1): e0245087
      Inter-relationships among mosquito vectors, Plasmodium parasites, human ecology, and biotic and abiotic factors, drive malaria risk. Specifically, rural landscapes shaped by human activities have a great potential to increase the abundance of malaria vectors, putting many vulnerable people at risk. Understanding at which point the abundance of vectors increases in the landscape can help to design policies and interventions for effective and sustainable control. Using a dataset of adult female mosquitoes collected at 79 sites in malaria endemic areas in the Brazilian Amazon, this study aimed to (1) verify the association among forest cover percentage (PLAND), forest edge density (ED), and variation in mosquito diversity; and to (2) test the hypothesis of an association between landscape structure (i.e., PLAND and ED) and Nyssorhynchus darlingi (Root) dominance. Mosquito collections were performed employing human landing catch (HLC) (peridomestic habitat) and Shannon trap combined with HLC (forest fringe habitat). Nyssorhynchus darlingi abundance was used as the response variable in a generalized linear mixed model, and the Shannon diversity index (H') of the Culicidae community, PLAND, and the distance house-water drainage were used as predictors. Three ED categories were also used as random effects. A path analysis was used to understand comparative strengths of direct and indirect relationships among Amazon vegetation classes, Culicidae community, and Ny. darlingi abundance. Our results demonstrate that Ny. darlingi is negatively affected by H´ and PLAND of peridomestic habitat, and that increasing these variables (one-unit value at β0 = 768) leads to a decrease of 226 (P < 0.001) and 533 (P = 0.003) individuals, respectively. At the forest fringe, a similar result was found for H' (β1 = -218; P < 0.001) and PLAND (β1 = -337; P = 0.04). Anthropogenic changes in the Amazon vegetation classes decreased mosquito biodiversity, leading to increased Ny. darlingi abundance. Changes in landscape structure, specifically decreases in PLAND and increases in ED, led to Ny. darlingi becoming the dominant species, increasing malaria risk. Ecological mechanisms involving changes in landscape and mosquito species composition can help to understand changes in the epidemiology of malaria.
  13. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 13. 11(1): 1094
      In an attempt to evaluate the susceptibility of the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus to bacterial agents, a population naturally infected with a Wolbachia pipientis wPipSJ native strain was tested against the action of three bacterial mosquitocides, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis, Bacillus wiedmannii biovar thuringiensis and Lysinibacillus sphaericus. Tests were carried out on mosquito larvae with and without Wolbachia (controls). Cx. quinquefasciatus naturally infected with the native wPipSJ strain proved to be more resistant to the pathogenic action of the three mosquitocidal bacterial strains. Additionally, wPipSJ was fully characterised using metagenome-assembled genomics, PCR-RFLP (PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) and MLST (MultiLocus Sequence Typing) analyses. This Wolbachia strain wPipSJ belongs to haplotype I, group wPip-III and supergroup B, clustering with other mosquito wPip strains, such as wPip PEL, wPip JHB, wPip Mol, and wAlbB; showing the southernmost distribution in America. The cytoplasmic incompatibility phenotype of this strain was revealed via crosses between wildtype (Wolbachia+) and antibiotic treated mosquito populations. The results of the tests with the bacterial agents suggest that Cx. quinquefasciatus naturally infected with wPipSJ is less susceptible to the pathogenic action of mosquitocidal bacterial strains when compared with the antibiotic-treated mosquito isoline, and is more susceptible to B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis than to the other two mosquitocidal agents.
  14. J Insect Physiol. 2021 Jan 08. pii: S0022-1910(21)00001-9. [Epub ahead of print] 104191
      Nutrition affects multiple aspects of insect physiology such as body size and fecundity, but we lack a detailed understanding of how nutrition influences the reproductive physiology of male insects such as mosquitoes. Given that female mosquitoes are vectors of many deadly diseases and can quickly proliferate, understanding how male nutrition impacts female fecundity could be of critical importance. To uncover the relationship between nutrition in adult male mosquitoes and its impacts on reproductive physiology, we reared larvae of the Northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens, on a standard lab diet and divided adult males among three different dietary treatments: low (3%), moderate (10%), and high (20%) sucrose. We found that although overall body size did not differ among treatments, one-week-old males raised on the 3% sucrose diet had significantly smaller male accessory glands (MAGs) compared to males that consumed the 10% and the 20% sucrose diets. Diet affected whole-body lipid content but did not affect whole-body protein content. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, we found that diet altered the metabolic composition of the MAGs, including changes in lactic acid, formic acid, and glucose. We also observed changes in protein and lipid abundance and composition in MAGs. Females who mated with males on the 3% diet were found to produce significantly fewer larvae than females who had mated with males on the 10% diet. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the diet of adult male mosquitoes clearly affects male reproductive physiology and female fecundity.
    Keywords:  NMR spectroscopy; fecundity; lipid content; male accessory glands; metabolomics; protein content
  15. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2021 Jan 13.
      West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in Florida in July 2001, with 404 human cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of February 2020. The subtropical climate of Florida is ideal for the mosquitoes that transmit WNV. We investigated the WNV seroprevalence in 3 NHP species housed outdoors at The Mannheimer Foundation in South Florida. From January to December 2016, 520 3 to 30 y old NHP were sampled at our 2 closed sites in Homestead and LaBelle:200 rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), 212 cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis), and 108 hamadryas baboons (Papiohamadryas hamadryas). The presence of WNV IgG antibodies in these animals was determined by serum neutralizationassays, which found a total seroprevalence of 14%. Seroprevalence was significantly higher in the baboons (29%) than the rhesus (11%) and cynomolgus (9%) macaques. The probability of seropositivity significantly increased with age, but sex and site did not significantly affect seroprevalence. The frequency of WNV seropositivity detected in these outdoor-housed NHP suggests that screening for WNV and other vector-borne diseases may be necessary prior to experimental use, particularlyfor infectious disease studies in which viremia or viral antibodies could confound results, and especially for populations housed outdoors in warm, wet climates. As no seropositive subjects demonstrated clinical signs of WNV and WNV exposure did not appear to significantly impact colony health, routine testing is likely unnecessary for most NHP colonies. However,WNV infection should still be considered as a differential diagnosis for any NHP presenting with nonspecific neurologic signs. Mosquito abatement plans and vigilant sanitation practices to further decrease mosquito and avian interaction withresearch NHP should also be considered.