bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2021‒06‒06
27 papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(6): e0234675
      Aedes-borne viral diseases mainly Yellow Fever (YF), Dengue (DEN), Zika (ZIK) and Chikungunya (CHK) have contributed to many deaths' in the world especially in Africa. There have been major outbreaks of these diseases in West Africa. Although, YF outbreaks have occurred in Ghana over the years, no outbreak of DEN, ZIK and CHK has been recorded. However, the risk of outbreak is high due to its proximity to West African countries where outbreaks have been recently been recorded. This study surveyed the mosquito fauna to assess the risk of transmission of Yellow fever (YFV), Dengue (DENV), Chikungunya (CHKV) and Zika (ZIKV) viruses in Larabanga and Mole Game Reserve areas in Northern Ghana. The immature and adult stages of Aedes mosquitoes were collected from Larabanga and Mole Game Reserve area. There was a significant (P>0.001) number of mosquitoes collected during the rainy season than the dry season. A total of 1,930 Aedes mosquitoes were collected during the rainy season and morphologically identified. Of these, 1,915 (99.22%) were Aedes aegypti and 15 (0.22%) were Aedes vittatus. During the dry season, 27 Ae. aegypti mosquitoes were collected. A total of 415 Ae. aegypti mosquitoes were molecularly identified to subspecies level of which Ae. (Ae) aegypti aegypti was the predominant subspecies. Both Ae. aegypti aegypti and Ae aegypti formosus exist in sympatry in the area. All Aedes pools (75) were negative for DENV, ZIKV and CHKV when examined by RT- PCR. Three Larval indices namely House Index, HI (percentage of houses positive for Aedes larvae or pupae), Container Index, CI (the percentage of containers positive for Aedes larvae or pupae) and Breteau Index, BI (number of positive containers per 100 houses inspected) were assessed as a measure for risk of transmission in the study area. The HI, CI and BI for both sites were as follows; Mole Game Reserve (HI, 42.1%, CI, 23.5% and BI, 100 for rainy season and 0 for all indices for dry season) and Larabanga (39%, 15.5% and 61 for rainy season and 2.3%, 1.3% and 2.3 for dry season). The spatial distribution of Aedes breeding sites in both areas indicated that Aedes larvae were breeding in areas with close proximity to humans. Lorry tires were the main source of Aedes larvae in all the study areas. Information about the species composition and the potential role of Aedes mosquitoes in future outbreaks of the diseases that they transmit is needed to design efficient surveillance and vector control tools.
  2. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2021 Jun 04. 1-27
      AbstractThe two main Zika virus (ZIKV) vectors, Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti (invasive and native species, respectively), are present in Gabon (Central Africa). The aim of this study was to determine the entomological ZIKV risk associated with these mosquito species in Gabon by evaluating their vector competence for an African (i.e. representative of the endemic strains circulating in sub-Saharan Africa) and two Asian (i.e. representatives of exogenous epidemic strains that could be introduced) ZIKV strains. The transmission efficiency of one Ae. aegypti and two Ae. albopictus field-collected populations from Libreville and Franceville was assayed at day 7, 14 and 21 after experimental oral infection. The two mosquito species could transmit all three ZIKV strains already at day 7 post-infection, but transmission efficiency was higher for the African strain than the non-African strains (>60% versus <14%; incubation period of 14-21 days). The two mosquito species exhibited comparable vector competence for ZIKV, although the amount of viral particles (African strain) in saliva was significantly higher in Ae. albopictus than Ae. aegypti at day 14 post-infection. These findings suggest that overall, ZIKV risk in Gabon is mainly related to virus strains that circulate endemically across sub-Saharan Africa, although the transmission of non-African strains remain possible in case of introduction. Due to its high infestation indexes and ecological/geographical ranges, this risk appears mainly associated with Ae. albopictus. Vector surveillance and control methods against this invasive mosquito must be strengthened in the region to limit the risk of future outbreaks.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Aedes albopictus; African and Asian lineages; Gabon; Zika virus
  3. Viruses. 2021 May 12. pii: 891. [Epub ahead of print]13(5):
      Mosquito-associated viruses (MAVs), including mosquito-specific viruses (MSVs) and mosquito-borne (arbo)viruses (MBVs), are an increasing public, veterinary, and global health concern, and West Africa is projected to be the next front for arboviral diseases. As in-depth knowledge of the ecologies of both western African MAVs and related mosquitoes is still limited, we review available and comprehensive data on their diversity, abundance, and distribution. Data on MAVs' occurrence and related mosquitoes were extracted from peer-reviewed publications. Data on MSVs, and mosquito and vertebrate host ranges are sparse. However, more data are available on MBVs (i.e., dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, Zika, and Rift Valley fever viruses), detected in wild and domestic animals, and humans, with infections more concentrated in urban areas and areas affected by strong anthropogenic changes. Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Aedes albopictus are incriminated as key arbovirus vectors. These findings outline MAV, related mosquitoes, key knowledge gaps, and future research areas. Additionally, these data highlight the need to increase our understanding of MAVs and their impact on host mosquito ecology, to improve our knowledge of arbovirus transmission, and to develop specific strategies and capacities for arboviral disease surveillance, diagnostic, prevention, control, and outbreak responses in West Africa.
    Keywords:  West Africa; climate change; land use change; mosquito-associated viruses; mosquito-borne viruses; mosquito-specific viruses; mosquitoes; urbanisation
  4. Genes (Basel). 2021 May 28. pii: 828. [Epub ahead of print]12(6):
      The emergence of insecticide resistance in Aedes mosquitoes could pose major challenges for arboviral-borne disease control. In this paper, insecticide susceptibility level and resistance mechanisms were assessed in Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1894) from urban settings of Cameroon. The F1 progeny of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus collected in Douala, Yaoundé and Dschang from August to December 2020 was tested using WHO tube assays with four insecticides: deltamethrin 0.05%, permethrin 0.75%, DDT 4% and bendiocarb 0.1%. TaqMan, qPCR and RT-qPCR assays were used to detect kdr mutations and the expression profiles of eight detoxification genes. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes from Douala were found to be resistant to DDT, permethrin and deltamethrin. Three kdr mutations, F1534C, V1016G and V1016I were detected in Aedes aegypti populations from Douala and Dschang. The kdr allele F1534C was predominant (90%) in Aedes aegypti and was detected for the first time in Aedes albopictus (2.08%). P450s genes, Cyp9J28 (2.23-7.03 folds), Cyp9M6 (1.49-2.59 folds), Cyp9J32 (1.29-3.75 folds) and GSTD4 (1.34-55.3 folds) were found overexpressed in the Douala and Yaoundé Aedes aegypti populations. The emergence of insecticide resistance in Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus calls for alternative strategies towards the control and prevention of arboviral vector-borne diseases in Cameroon.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Aedes albopictus; Cameroon; arbovirus; insecticide resistance diagnostics; mechanisms; urban settings
  5. Viruses. 2021 May 29. pii: 1024. [Epub ahead of print]13(6):
      Chikungunya virus disease (chikungunya) is a mosquito-borne infectious disease reported in at least 50 countries, mostly in the tropics. It has spread around the globe within the last two decades, with local outbreaks in Europe. The vector mosquito Aedes albopictus (Diptera, Culicidae) has already widely established itself in southern Europe and is spreading towards central parts of the continent. Public health authorities and policymakers need to be informed about where and when a chikungunya transmission is likely to take place. Here, we adapted a previously published global ecological niche model (ENM) by including only non-tropical chikungunya occurrence records and selecting bioclimatic variables that can reflect the temperate and sub-tropical conditions in Europe with greater accuracy. Additionally, we applied an epidemiological model to capture the temporal outbreak risk of chikungunya in six selected European cities. Overall, the non-tropical ENM captures all the previous outbreaks in Europe, whereas the global ENM had underestimated the risk. Highly suitable areas are more widespread than previously assumed. They are found in coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea, in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, and in Atlantic coastal areas of France. Under a worst-case scenario, even large areas of western Germany and the Benelux states are considered potential areas of transmission. For the six selected European cities, June-September (the 22th-38th week) is the most vulnerable time period, with the maximum continuous duration of a possible transmission period lasting up to 93 days (Ravenna, Italy).
    Keywords:  Aedes albopictus; chikungunya; dengue; ecological niche model; epidemiological model; mosquito-borne disease
  6. Trials. 2021 May 30. 22(1): 374
      BACKGROUND: In common with many South East Asian countries, Malaysia is endemic for dengue. Dengue control in Malaysia is currently based on reactive vector management within 24 h of a dengue case being reported. Preventive rather than reactive vector control approaches, with combined interventions, are expected to improve the cost-effectiveness of dengue control programs. The principal objective of this cluster randomized controlled trial is to quantify the effectiveness of a preventive integrated vector management (IVM) strategy on the incidence of dengue as compared to routine vector control efforts.METHODS: The trial is conducted in randomly allocated clusters of low- and medium-cost housing located in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. The IVM approach combines: targeted outdoor residual spraying with K-Othrine Polyzone, deployment of mosquito traps as auto-dissemination devices, and community engagement activities. The trial includes 300 clusters randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio. The clusters receive either the preventive IVM in addition to the routine vector control activities or the routine vector control activities only. Epidemiological data from monthly confirmed dengue cases during the study period will be obtained from the Vector Borne Disease Sector, Malaysian Ministry of Health e-Dengue surveillance system. Entomological surveillance data will be collected in 12 clusters randomly selected from each arm. To measure the effectiveness of the IVM approach on dengue incidence, a negative binomial regression model will be used to compare the incidence between control and intervention clusters. To quantify the effect of the interventions on the main entomological outcome, ovitrap index, a modified ordinary least squares regression model using a robust standard error estimator will be used.
    DISCUSSION: Considering the ongoing expansion of dengue burden in Malaysia, setting up proactive control strategies is critical. Despite some limitations of the trial such as the use of passive surveillance to identify cases, the results will be informative for a better understanding of effectiveness of proactive IVM approach in the control of dengue. Evidence from this trial may help justify investment in preventive IVM approaches as preferred to reactive case management strategies.
    TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN ISRCTN81915073 . Retrospectively registered on 17 April 2020.
    Keywords:  Aedes; Autodissemination; Cluster Randomized; Dengue; Epidemiology; Malaysia; Vector control; outdoor residual spray
  7. Insects. 2021 May 18. pii: 469. [Epub ahead of print]12(5):
      Dengue virus infections are a serious public health problem worldwide. Aedes aegypti is the primary vector of dengue in Cuba. As there is no vaccine or specific treatment, the control efforts are directed to the reduction of mosquito populations. The indiscriminate use of insecticides can lead to adverse effects on ecosystems, including human health. The sterile insect technique is a species-specific and environment-friendly method of insect population control based on the release of large numbers of sterile insects, ideally males only. The success of this technique for the sustainable management of agricultural pests has encouraged its evaluation for the population suppression of mosquito vector species. Here, we describe an open field trial to evaluate the effect of the release of irradiated male Ae. aegypti on a wild population. The pilot trial was carried out in a suburb of Havana and compared the mosquito population density before and after the intervention, in both untreated control and release areas. The wild population was monitored by an ovitrap network, recording frequency and density of eggs as well as their hatch rate. A significant amount of sterility was induced in the field population of the release area, as compared with the untreated control area. The ovitrap index and the mean number of eggs/trap declined dramatically after 12 and 5 weeks of releases, respectively. For the last 3 weeks, no eggs were collected in the treatment area, clearly indicating a significant suppression of the wild target population. We conclude that the sterile males released competed successfully and induced enough sterility to suppress the local Ae. aegypti population.
    Keywords:  autocidal control; gamma radiation sterilization; irradiation; vector control
  8. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2021 Jun 02.
      West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that can cause severe neurological disease in humans, for which there is no treatment or vaccine. From 2009 to 2018, California has reported more human disease cases than any other state in the United States. We sought to identify smaller geographic areas within the 10 California counties with the highest number of WNV cases that accounted for disproportionately large numbers of human cases from 2009 to 2018. Eleven areas, consisting of groups of high-burden ZIP codes, were identified in nine counties within southern California and California's Central Valley. Despite containing only 2% of California's area and 17% of the state's population, these high-burden ZIP codes accounted for 44% of WNV cases reported and had a mean annual incidence that was 2.4 times the annual state incidence. Focusing mosquito control and public education efforts in these areas would lower WNV disease burden.
    Keywords:  California; West Nile virus; arbovirus; epidemiology; public health
  9. Malar J. 2021 May 31. 20(1): 244
      BACKGROUND: Spatio-temporal trends in mosquito-borne diseases are driven by the locations and seasonality of larval habitat. One method of disease control is to decrease the mosquito population by modifying larval habitat, known as larval source management (LSM). In malaria control, LSM is currently considered impractical in rural areas due to perceived difficulties in identifying target areas. High resolution drone mapping is being considered as a practical solution to address this barrier. In this paper, the authors' experiences of drone-led larval habitat identification in Malawi were used to assess the feasibility of this approach.METHODS: Drone mapping and larval surveys were conducted in Kasungu district, Malawi between 2018 and 2020. Water bodies and aquatic vegetation were identified in the imagery using manual methods and geographical object-based image analysis (GeoOBIA) and the performances of the classifications were compared. Further, observations were documented on the practical aspects of capturing drone imagery for informing malaria control including cost, time, computing, and skills requirements. Larval sampling sites were characterized by biotic factors visible in drone imagery and generalized linear mixed models were used to determine their association with larval presence.
    RESULTS: Imagery covering an area of 8.9 km2 across eight sites was captured. Larval habitat characteristics were successfully identified using GeoOBIA on images captured by a standard camera (median accuracy = 98%) with no notable improvement observed after incorporating data from a near-infrared sensor. This approach however required greater processing time and technical skills compared to manual identification. Larval samples captured from 326 sites confirmed that drone-captured characteristics, including aquatic vegetation presence and type, were significantly associated with larval presence.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the potential for drone-acquired imagery to support mosquito larval habitat identification in rural, malaria-endemic areas, although technical challenges were identified which may hinder the scale up of this approach. Potential solutions have however been identified, including strengthening linkages with the flourishing drone industry in countries such as Malawi. Further consultations are therefore needed between experts in the fields of drones, image analysis and vector control are needed to develop more detailed guidance on how this technology can be most effectively exploited in malaria control.
    Keywords:  Anopheles; Drones; Larval habitat; Machine-learning; Malaria; Mapping; Mosquito; Object-based image classification
  10. Trends Parasitol. 2021 May 29. pii: S1471-4922(21)00111-2. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mosquito control strategies increasingly apply knowledge from population genomics research. This review highlights recent applications to three research domains: mosquito invasions, insecticide resistance evolution, and rear and release programs. Current research trends follow developments in reference assemblies, either as improvements to existing assemblies (particularly Aedes) or assemblies for new taxa (particularly Anopheles). With improved assemblies, studies of invasive and rear and release target populations are better able to incorporate adaptive as well as demographic hypotheses. New reference assemblies are aiding comparisons of insecticide resistance across sister taxa while helping resolve taxon boundaries amidst frequent introgression. Anopheles gene drive deployments and improved Aedes genome assemblies should lead to a convergence in research aims for Anopheles and Aedes in the coming years.
    Keywords:  Wolbachia; biological invasions; gene drives; insecticide resistance; mosquito; population genomics
  11. Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 03. 11(1): 11810
      Land-use changes, such as deforestation and agriculture, can influence mosquito vector populations and malaria transmission. These land-use changes have been linked to increased incidence in human cases of the zoonotic malaria Plasmodium knowlesi in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. This study investigates whether these associations are partially driven by fine-scale land-use changes creating more favourable aquatic breeding habitats for P. knowlesi anopheline vectors. Using aerial remote sensing data, we developed a sampling frame representative of all land use types within a major focus of P. knowlesi transmission. From 2015 to 2016 monthly longitudinal surveys of larval habitats were collected in randomly selected areas stratified by land use type. Additional remote sensing data on environmental variables, land cover and landscape configuration were assembled for the study site. Risk factor analyses were performed over multiple spatial scales to determine associations between environmental and spatial variables and anopheline larval presence. Habitat fragmentation (300 m), aspect (350 m), distance to rubber plantations (100 m) and Culex larval presence were identified as risk factors for Anopheles breeding. Additionally, models were fit to determine the presence of potential larval habitats within the areas surveyed and used to generate a time-series of monthly predictive maps. These results indicate that land-use change and topography influence the suitability of larval habitats, and may partially explain the link between P. knowlesi incidence and deforestation. The predictive maps, and identification of the spatial scales at which risk factors are most influential may aid spatio-temporally targeted vector control interventions.
  12. Viruses. 2021 May 26. pii: 994. [Epub ahead of print]13(6):
      West Nile virus (WNV) has never been reported from Lebanon. Yet, this country is located on the flyway of migratory birds in the Middle East region. Serological screening was conducted to assess the potential circulation of this virus. Human, horse, and chicken sera were collected from the Bekaa and North districts. Specific IgG and IgY were first screened by ELISA. Then, positive samples were confirmed by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). Besides this, adult mosquitoes were collected and tested for the presence of WNV RNA using conventional RT-PCR. Sera screening revealed a seroprevalence rate reaching 1.86% among humans and 2.47% among horses. Cross-reactions revealed by ELISA suggested the circulation of flaviviruses other than WNV. None of the tested mosquitoes was positive for WNV. The observed results constitute strong evidence of local exposure of the Lebanese population to this virus and the first report of equine WNV in Lebanon.
    Keywords:  Lebanon; Middle East; West Nile virus; flavivirus; neutralization; seroprevalence
  13. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 May 22. pii: 5553. [Epub ahead of print]18(11):
      Malaria in Bhutan has fallen significantly over the last decade. As Bhutan attempts to eliminate malaria in 2022, this study aimed to characterize the space-time clustering of malaria from 2010 to 2019. Malaria data were obtained from the Bhutan Vector-Borne Disease Control Program data repository. Spatial and space-time cluster analyses of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax cases were conducted at the sub-district level from 2010 to 2019 using Kulldorff's space-time scan statistic. A total of 768 confirmed malaria cases, including 454 (59%) P. vivax cases, were reported in Bhutan during the study period. Significant temporal clusters of cases caused by both species were identified between April and September. The most likely spatial clusters were detected in the central part of Bhutan throughout the study period. The most likely space-time cluster was in Sarpang District and neighboring districts between January 2010 to June 2012 for cases of infection with both species. The most likely cluster for P. falciparum infection had a radius of 50.4 km and included 26 sub-districts with a relative risk (RR) of 32.7. The most likely cluster for P. vivax infection had a radius of 33.6 km with 11 sub-districts and RR of 27.7. Three secondary space-time clusters were detected in other parts of Bhutan. Spatial and space-time cluster analysis identified high-risk areas and periods for both P. vivax and P. falciparum malaria. Both malaria types showed significant spatial and spatiotemporal variations. Operational research to understand the drivers of residual transmission in hotspot sub-districts will help to overcome the final challenges of malaria elimination in Bhutan.
    Keywords:  Bhutan; SaTScan; clustering; malaria; space; time
  14. J Mol Evol. 2021 May 31.
      Preventing and controlling epidemics caused by vector-borne viruses are particularly challenging due to their diverse pool of hosts and highly adaptive nature. Many vector-borne viruses belong to the Flavivirus genus, whose members vary greatly in host range and specificity. Members of the Flavivirus genus can be categorized to four main groups: insect-specific viruses that are maintained solely in arthropod populations, mosquito-borne viruses and tick-borne viruses that are transmitted to vertebrate hosts by mosquitoes or ticks via blood feeding, and those with no-known vector. The mosquito-borne group encompasses the yellow fever, dengue, and West Nile viruses, all of which are globally spread and cause severe morbidity in humans. The Flavivirus genus is genetically diverse, and its members are subject to different host-specific and vector-specific selective constraints, which do not always align. Thus, understanding the underlying genetic differences that led to the diversity in host range within this genus is an important aspect in deciphering the mechanisms that drive host compatibility and can aid in the constant arms-race against viral threats. Here, we review the phylogenetic relationships between members of the genus, their infection bottlenecks, and phenotypic and genomic differences. We further discuss methods that utilize these differences for prediction of host shifts in flaviviruses and can contribute to viral surveillance efforts.
    Keywords:  Flavivirus; Genome composition; Host-shifts; Machine learning; Phylogeny
  15. Insects. 2021 May 17. pii: 460. [Epub ahead of print]12(5):
      An integral part to integrated mosquito management is to ensure chemical products used for area-wide control are effective against a susceptible population of mosquitoes. Prior to conducting an intervention trial using an insect growth regulator, pyriproxyfen, in South Texas to control Aedes aegypti, we conducted a larval bioassay to evaluate baseline levels of susceptibility. We used seven serially-diluted doses ranging from 2.5 ppb to 6.3 × 10-4 ppb. We observed 100% inhibition emergence (IE) at even the lowest dose of 6.3 × 10-4 ppb in our susceptible reference colony of Ae. aegypti Liverpool. In our field strain of Ae. aegypti (F5 colonized from South Texas) we observed 79.8% IE at 6.3 × 10-4 ppb, 17.7% IE at 1.25 × 10-3 ppb, 98.7% IE at 1.25 × 10-2 ppb, and 100% emergence inhibition for the remainder of the doses. Given that commercial pyriproxyfen products are labeled for doses ranging to 50 ppb, we conclude that the field population sampled by this study are susceptible to this insect growth regulator.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; autodissemination; emergence inhibition; insect growth regulator; pyriproxyfen; vector control
  16. Environ Res. 2021 May 26. pii: S0013-9351(21)00627-7. [Epub ahead of print] 111333
      The frequent application of synthetic insecticides creates resistance among insects, including mosquitoes, and causes environmental pollution and health issues. The current work aim at assessing the possibilities to produce and characterize the titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) mediated through the aqueous leaf extract of Pouteria campechiana, and their larvicidal and pupicidal activities against Aedes aegypti. The attained results showed that the aqueous leaf extract of P. campechiana had the efficiency to fabricate TiO2 NPs from TiO2. Under the UV-Vis spectrum analysis, a sharp peak was recorded at 320 nm, which indicated the production of TiO2 NPs by the plant extract. The SEM analysis revealed that the synthesized TiO2 NPs were spherical, and 5 dissimilar diffractions were detected in the XRD spectrum analysis related to the TiO2 NPs. In FTIR analysis, a prominent peak was found at 1052.41 cm-1, corresponding to alcohol, and confirmed metal reduction. In the EDX analysis, there was a signal of around 58.44%, confirming the decrease in Ti from TiO2 NPs, and the remaining percentages were Ca, Al, and Mg. About 900 μg mL-1 of TiO2 NPs had excellent lethal activity against various larvae and pupa stages of Ae. aegypti. The attained results showed that the P. campechiana aqueous leaf extract could reduce TiO2 into TiO2 NPs and could be considered a mosquito control agent. Furthermore, this is the initial report about the aqueous leaf extract of P. campechiana effectively synthesizing the TiO2 NPs with anti-mosquito activity.
    Keywords:  Ae. Aegypti; Leaf extract; P. campechiana; TiO(2); TiO(2)NPs; larvicidal
  17. Commun Biol. 2021 Jun 02. 4(1): 665
      In the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, two point mutations in the acetylcholinesterase (ace-1R) and the sodium channel (kdrR) genes confer resistance to organophosphate/carbamate and pyrethroid insecticides, respectively. The mechanisms of compensation that recover the functional alterations associated with these mutations and their role in the modulation of insecticide efficacy are unknown. Using multidisciplinary approaches adapted to neurons isolated from resistant Anopheles gambiae AcerKis and KdrKis strains together with larval bioassays, we demonstrate that nAChRs, and the intracellular calcium concentration represent the key components of an adaptation strategy ensuring neuronal functions maintenance. In AcerKis neurons, the increased effect of acetylcholine related to the reduced acetylcholinesterase activity is compensated by expressing higher density of nAChRs permeable to calcium. In KdrKis neurons, changes in the biophysical properties of the L1014F mutant sodium channel, leading to enhance overlap between activation and inactivation relationships, diminish the resting membrane potential and reduce the fraction of calcium channels available involved in acetylcholine release. Together with the lower intracellular basal calcium concentration observed, these factors increase nAChRs sensitivity to maintain the effect of low concentration of acetylcholine. These results explain the opposite effects of the insecticide clothianidin observed in AcerKis and KdrKis neurons in vitro and in vivo.
  18. Front Microbiol. 2021 ;12 635772
      Exposure of mosquitoes to numerous eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbes in their associated microbiomes has probably helped drive the evolution of the innate immune system. To our knowledge, a metagenomic catalog of the eukaryotic microbiome has not been reported from any insect. Here we employ a novel approach to preferentially deplete host 18S ribosomal RNA gene amplicons to reveal the composition of the eukaryotic microbial communities of Anopheles larvae sampled in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Republic of Guinea (Conakry). We identified 453 eukaryotic operational taxonomic units (OTUs) associated with Anopheles larvae in nature, but an average of 45% of the 18S rRNA sequences clustered into OTUs that lacked a taxonomic assignment in the Silva database. Thus, the Anopheles microbiome contains a striking proportion of novel eukaryotic taxa. Using sequence similarity matching and de novo phylogenetic placement, the fraction of unassigned sequences was reduced to an average of 4%, and many unclassified OTUs were assigned as relatives of known taxa. A novel taxon of the genus Ophryocystis in the phylum Apicomplexa (which also includes Plasmodium) is widespread in Anopheles larvae from East and West Africa. Notably, Ophryocystis is present at fluctuating abundance among larval breeding sites, consistent with the expected pattern of an epidemic pathogen. Species richness of the eukaryotic microbiome was not significantly different across sites from East to West Africa, while species richness of the prokaryotic microbiome was significantly lower in West Africa. Laboratory colonies of Anopheles coluzzii harbor 26 eukaryotic OTUs, of which 38% (n = 10) are shared with wild populations, while 16 OTUs are unique to the laboratory colonies. Genetically distinct An. coluzzii colonies co-housed in the same facility maintain different prokaryotic microbiome profiles, suggesting a persistent host genetic influence on microbiome composition. These results provide a foundation to understand the role of the Anopheles eukaryotic microbiome in vector immunity and pathogen transmission. We hypothesize that prevalent apicomplexans such as Ophryocystis associated with Anopheles could induce interference or competition against Plasmodium within the vector. This and other members of the eukaryotic microbiome may offer candidates for new vector control tools.
    Keywords:  Anopheles; commensalism; eukaryotic microbiology; insect immunity; insect microbiome; mosquito
  19. Trop Med Int Health. 2021 Jun 05.
      OBJECTIVE: Our previous transcriptome analysis of Anopheles dirus revealed up regulation of the An. dirus yellow-g gene upon ingestion of Plasmodium vivax-infected blood. This gene belongs to the yellow gene family, but its role regarding P. vivax infection is not known and remains to be validated. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the An. dirus yellow-g gene in P. vivax infection.METHODS: The qRT-PCR was used to detect the expression of the yellow-g gene in many organs of both male and female mosquitos. The yellow-g gene silencing was performed by dsRNA membrane feeding to An. dirus. These mosquitoes were later challenged by P. vivax-infected blood. The oocyst numbers were determined.
    RESULTS: The yellow-g transcript was detected in several organs of both male and female An. dirus mosquitoes. Successful knockdown of yellow-g was achieved and resulted in reduced P. vivax infection in the mosquitoes. The decrease in yellow-g expression had no effect on the life span of the mosquitoes.
    CONCLUSIONS: These results support the yellow-g gene as having an important function in Plasmodium development in Anopheles mosquitoes.
    Keywords:  dsRNA; malaria; oocyst development; yellow-g
  20. Transbound Emerg Dis. 2021 May 29.
      Aedes albopictus was recorded in Vienna, Austria, in August 2020 for the first time. The species was found to occur in three sites within the city; morphology-based monitoring was followed by DNA-barcoding. Mitochondrial COI barcode sequences recovered three different haplotypes, however this data does not reveal whether single or multiple introduction events have occurred. The vicinity of Viennese Ae. albopictus sites to major traffic routes highlights the importance of passive transport for range expansion of this species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  Aedes albopictus; Austria; citizen science; invasive mosquitoes
  21. PLoS Med. 2021 Jun;18(6): e1003614
      BACKGROUND: In 2017, an estimated 14 million cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria were reported from Asia, Central and South America, and the Horn of Africa. The clinical burden of vivax malaria is largely driven by its ability to form dormant liver stages (hypnozoites) that can reactivate to cause recurrent episodes of malaria. Elimination of both the blood and liver stages of the parasites ("radical cure") is required to achieve a sustained clinical response and prevent ongoing transmission of the parasite. Novel treatment options and point-of-care diagnostics are now available to ensure that radical cure can be administered safely and effectively. We quantified the global economic cost of vivax malaria and estimated the potential cost benefit of a policy of radical cure after testing patients for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.METHODS AND FINDINGS: Estimates of the healthcare provider and household costs due to vivax malaria were collated and combined with national case estimates for 44 endemic countries in 2017. These provider and household costs were compared with those that would be incurred under 2 scenarios for radical cure following G6PD screening: (1) complete adherence following daily supervised primaquine therapy and (2) unsupervised treatment with an assumed 40% effectiveness. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis generated credible intervals (CrIs) for the estimates. Globally, the annual cost of vivax malaria was US$359 million (95% CrI: US$222 to 563 million), attributable to 14.2 million cases of vivax malaria in 2017. From a societal perspective, adopting a policy of G6PD deficiency screening and supervision of primaquine to all eligible patients would prevent 6.1 million cases and reduce the global cost of vivax malaria to US$266 million (95% CrI: US$161 to 415 million), although healthcare provider costs would increase by US$39 million. If perfect adherence could be achieved with a single visit, then the global cost would fall further to US$225 million, equivalent to $135 million in cost savings from the baseline global costs. A policy of unsupervised primaquine reduced the cost to US$342 million (95% CrI: US$209 to 532 million) while preventing 2.1 million cases. Limitations of the study include partial availability of country-level cost data and parameter uncertainty for the proportion of patients prescribed primaquine, patient adherence to a full course of primaquine, and effectiveness of primaquine when unsupervised.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our modelling study highlights a substantial global economic burden of vivax malaria that could be reduced through investment in safe and effective radical cure achieved by routine screening for G6PD deficiency and supervision of treatment. Novel, low-cost interventions for improving adherence to primaquine to ensure effective radical cure and widespread access to screening for G6PD deficiency will be critical to achieving the timely global elimination of P. vivax.
  22. Res Rep Trop Med. 2021 ;12 93-105
      Mansonellosis is caused by three filarial parasite species from the genus Mansonella that commonly produce chronic human microfilaraemias: M. ozzardi, M. perstans and M. streptocerca. The disease is widespread in Africa, the Caribbean and South and Central America, and although it is typically asymptomatic it has been associated with mild pathologies including leg-chills, joint-pains, headaches, fevers, and corneal lesions. No robust mansonellosis disease burden estimates have yet been made and the impact the disease has on blood bank stocks and the monitoring of other filarial diseases is not thought to be of sufficient public health importance to justify dedicated disease management interventions. Mansonellosis´s Ceratopogonidae and Simuliidae vectors are not targeted by other control programmes and because of their small size and out-door biting habits are unlikely to be affected by interventions targeting other disease vectors like mosquitoes. The ivermectin and mebendazole-based mass drug administration (iMDA and mMDA) treatment regimens deployed by the WHO´s Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN) programme and its forerunners have, however, likely impacted significantly on the mansonellosis disease burden, principally by reducing the transmission of M. streptocerca in Africa. The increasingly popular plan of using iMDA to control malaria could also affect M. ozzardi parasite prevalence and transmission in Latin America in the future. However, a potentially far greater mansonellosis disease burden impact is likely to come from short-course curative anti-Wolbachia therapeutics, which are presently being developed for onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis treatment. Even if the WHO´s ESPEN programme does not choose to deploy these drugs in MDA interventions, they have the potential to dramatically increase the financial and logistical feasibility of effective mansonellosis management. There is, thus, now a fresh and urgent need to better characterise the disease burden and eco-epidemiology of mansonellosis so that effective management programmes can be designed, advocated for and implemented.
    Keywords:  Mansonella ozzardi; Mansonella perstans; Mansonella streptocerca; Mansonellosis; Wolbachia; doxycycline
  23. BMC Public Health. 2021 Jun 02. 21(1): 1046
      BACKGROUND: Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are the most widely used malaria prevention and control intervention in Africa. However, their effectiveness may vary depending on their local geographic coverage, ownership and use at household level. This study aimed at assessing LLINs ownership and use following mass distribution campaign in western Kenya.METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in November 2017. A total of 160 households were randomly selected from 16 villages. Structured questionnaires were used to collect data on households' knowledge on malaria, LLINs ownership, utilization and their perceived benefits. Data was analyzed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 for windows. Variables were presented as proportions and associations between variables tested using Pearson's chi-square test.
    RESULTS: Malaria was reported to be the most frequently occurring disease (87.5%) in the area. Children under 5 years of age were reported to be at higher risks of malaria infection (28.6%). Around 31% of the respondents reported to have at least one member of the household sick with malaria a week before the interview. Commonly cited signs and symptoms of malaria were; fever (24.1%), headache (17.7%), vomiting (14.5%) feeling cold (12.6%) and loss of appetite (10%). There were 382 reported LLINs among 753 occupants in the 160 households surveyed. The average LLIN ownership was 2.4 nets per household and 1.97 persons per LLIN. Among the surveyed households, 96.9% owned at least one LLIN and 64.1% owned at least one LLIN for every two people. Among those who owned LLINs, 98.1% reported using them the previous night. Ownership per household ranged from 0 to 6 with a mean of 2.39. More than three quarter of the nets were acquired through free mass distribution campaigns and 80% were acquired less than 6 months prior to the survey.
    CONCLUSION: Despite high net coverage and use, a number of households experienced malaria episodes in the study area. There is need to investigate the likelihood of outdoor malaria transmission and assess the physical integrity of the existing LLINs and their insecticidal effectiveness in protecting household members against malaria.
    Keywords:  Control; Coverage; Households; LLINs; Malaria; Usage; Western Kenya
  24. Malar J. 2021 May 29. 20(1): 241
      BACKGROUND: To reduce the malaria burden and improve the socioeconomic status of its citizens, the Democratic Republic of Congo scaled up key malaria control interventions, especially insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), between 2005 and 2014. Since then, the effects of these interventions on malaria mortality and morbidity have not been assessed. This study aimed to measure the impact of the National Malaria Control Programme's efforts and to inform future control strategies.METHODS: The authors used data from the Demographic and Health Surveys 2007 and 2013-2014 to assess trends in all-cause childhood mortality (ACCM) against trends in coverage of malaria interventions at national and subnational levels. The authors used the plausibility argument to assess the impact of the malaria control interventions and used Kaplan-Meier survival probability and Cox proportional hazard models to examine the effect of ITN ownership on child survival. Contextual factor trends affecting child survival were also considered.
    RESULTS: Countrywide, household ownership of at least one ITN increased, from 9% in 2007 to 70% in 2013-2014. All provinces experienced similar increases, with some greater than the national level. ITN use increased between 2007 and 2013-2014 among children under five (6% to 55%). Severe anaemia (haemoglobin concentration < 8 g/dl) prevalence among children aged 6-59 months significantly decreased, from 11% (95% confidence interval [CI] 9-13%) in 2007 to 6% (95% CI 5-7%) in 2013-2014. During the same period, ACCM declined, from 148 (95% CI 132-163) to 104 (95% CI 97-112) deaths per 1000 live births. The decline in ACCM was greater among children aged 6-23 months (relative reduction of 36%), compared to children aged 24-59 months (relative reduction of 12%). Cox regression indicated that household ownership of at least one ITN reduced the risk of mortality by 24% among children under five (risk ratio = 0.76, 95% CI 0.64-0.90). Contextual factor analysis revealed marginal improvements in socioeconomic indicators and other health interventions.
    CONCLUSIONS: Given the patterns of the coverage of malaria control interventions, patterns in ACCM by province, and marginal improvements in contextual factors, the authors conclude that the malaria control interventions have plausibly contributed to the decrease in ACCM in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2005 to 2014.
    Keywords:  All-cause child mortality; Control; Cox proportional hazards; DRC; ITN; Kaplan–Meier; Malaria; Sub-Saharan Africa
  25. Malar J. 2021 May 31. 20(1): 243
      The current consensus on prevention of re-establishment of malaria is based on the following principles: (1) Fundamental role of general health services; (2) Surveillance; (3) Vector control; (4) Border actions; (5) Intersectoral collaboration. These principles are critically reviewed, and it is pointed out that alertness of the general health services to suspected malaria (vigilance) needs to be maintained everywhere, while health education is rational only if targeting high-risk sub-populations. It is argued that prevention of re-establishment of malaria transmission should be integrated with prevention of malaria mortality in cases of imported malaria, and that this requires collaboration with entities dealing with travellers' health and the availability of chemoprophylaxis and other measures for travellers to malaria endemic countries.
    Keywords:  Elimination; Malaria; Mortality; Prevention of re-establishment; Surveillance; Travellers’ health; Vigilance
  26. BMC Public Health. 2021 05 29. 21(1): 1018
      BACKGROUND: Large-scale variation in ecological parameters across Madagascar is hypothesized to drive varying spatial patterns of malaria infection. However, to date, few studies of parasite prevalence with resolution at finer, sub-regional spatial scales are available. As a result, there is a poor understanding of how Madagascar's diverse local ecologies link with variation in the distribution of infections at the community and household level. Efforts to preserve Madagascar's ecological diversity often focus on improving livelihoods in rural communities near remaining forested areas but are limited by a lack of data on their infectious disease burden.METHODS: To investigate spatial variation in malaria prevalence at the sub-regional scale in Madagascar, we sampled 1476 households (7117 total individuals, all ages) from 31 rural communities divided among five ecologically distinct regions. The sampled regions range from tropical rainforest to semi-arid, spiny forest and include communities near protected areas including the Masoala, Makira, and Mikea forests. Malaria prevalence was estimated by rapid diagnostic test (RDT) cross-sectional surveys performed during malaria transmission seasons over 2013-2017.
    RESULTS: Indicative of localized hotspots, malaria prevalence varied more than 10-fold between nearby (< 50 km) communities in some cases. Prevalence was highest on average in the west coast region (Morombe district, average community prevalence 29.4%), situated near protected dry deciduous forest habitat. At the household level, communities in southeast Madagascar (Mananjary district) were observed with over 50% of households containing multiple infected individuals at the time of sampling. From simulations accounting for variation in household size and prevalence at the community level, we observed a significant excess of households with multiple infections in rural communities in southwest and southeast Madagascar, suggesting variation in risk within communities.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the malaria infection burden experienced by rural communities in Madagascar varies greatly at smaller spatial scales (i.e., at the community and household level) and that the southeast and west coast ecological regions warrant further attention from disease control efforts. Conservation and development efforts in these regions may benefit from consideration of the high, and variable, malaria prevalences among communities in these areas.
    Keywords:  Community health; Ecology; Madagascar; Malaria; Spatial variation
  27. Pathogens. 2021 May 24. pii: 651. [Epub ahead of print]10(6):
      We present epidemiological, clinical and laboratory findings of five Czech patients diagnosed with autochthonous mosquito-borne disease-four patients with confirmed West Nile virus (WNV) and one patient with Usutu virus (USUV) infections, from July to October 2018, including one fatal case due to WNV. This is the first documented human outbreak caused by WNV lineage 2 in the Czech Republic and the first record of a neuroinvasive human disease caused by USUV, which illustrates the simultaneous circulation of WNV and USUV in the country.
    Keywords:  Usutu virus; West Nile virus; human; mosquito-borne infections