bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2021‒08‒01
twenty-four papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. Malar J. 2021 Jul 27. 20(1): 324
      BACKGROUND: Larviciding against malaria vectors in Africa has been limited to indoor residual spraying and insecticide-treated nets, but is increasingly being considered by some countries as a complementary strategy. However, despite progress towards improved larvicides and new tools for mapping or treating mosquito-breeding sites, little is known about the optimal deployment strategies for larviciding in different transmission and seasonality settings.METHODS: A malaria transmission model, OpenMalaria, was used to simulate varying larviciding strategies and their impact on host-seeking mosquito densities, entomological inoculation rate (EIR) and malaria prevalence. Variations in coverage, duration, frequency, and timing of larviciding were simulated for three transmission intensities and four transmission seasonality profiles. Malaria transmission was assumed to follow rainfall with a lag of one month. Theoretical sub-Saharan African settings with Anopheles gambiae as the dominant vector were chosen to explore impact. Relative reduction compared to no larviciding was predicted for each indicator during the simulated larviciding period.
    RESULTS: Larviciding immediately reduced the predicted host-seeking mosquito densities and EIRs to a maximum that approached or exceeded the simulated coverage. Reduction in prevalence was delayed by approximately one month. The relative reduction in prevalence was up to four times higher at low than high transmission. Reducing larviciding frequency (i.e., from every 5 to 10 days) resulted in substantial loss in effectiveness (54, 45 and 53% loss of impact for host-seeking mosquito densities, EIR and prevalence, respectively). In seasonal settings the most effective timing of larviciding was during or at the beginning of the rainy season and least impactful during the dry season, assuming larviciding deployment for four months.
    CONCLUSION: The results highlight the critical role of deployment strategies on the impact of larviciding. Overall, larviciding would be more effective in settings with low and seasonal transmission, and at the beginning and during the peak densities of the target species populations. For maximum impact, implementers should consider the practical ranges of coverage, duration, frequency, and timing of larviciding in their respective contexts. More operational data and improved calibration would enable models to become a practical tool to support malaria control programmes in developing larviciding strategies that account for the diversity of contexts.
    Keywords:  Larval source management; Larviciding; Malaria; Mathematical modelling; OpenMalaria
  2. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Jul 26. 14(1): 375
      BACKGROUND: Active surveillance aimed at the early detection of invasive mosquito species is usually focused on seaports and airports as points of entry, and along road networks as dispersion paths. In a number of cases, however, the first detections of colonizing populations are made by citizens, either because the species has already moved beyond the implemented active surveillance sites or because there is no surveillance in place. This was the case of the first detection in 2018 of the Asian bush mosquito, Aedes japonicus, in Asturias (northern Spain) by the citizen science platform Mosquito Alert.METHODS: The collaboration between Mosquito Alert, the Ministry of Health, local authorities and academic researchers resulted in a multi-source surveillance combining active field sampling with broader temporal and spatial citizen-sourced data, resulting in a more flexible and efficient surveillance strategy.
    RESULTS: Between 2018 and 2020, the joint efforts of administrative bodies, academic teams and citizen-sourced data led to the discovery of this species in northern regions of Spain such as Cantabria and the Basque Country. This raised the estimated area of occurrence of Ae. japonicus from < 900 km2 in 2018 to > 7000 km2 in 2020.
    CONCLUSIONS: This population cluster is geographically isolated from any other population in Europe, which raises questions about its origin, path of introduction and dispersal means, while also highlighting the need to enhance surveillance systems by closely combining crowd-sourced surveillance with public health and mosquito control agencies' efforts, from local to continental scales. This multi-actor approach for surveillance (either passive and active) shows high potential efficiency in the surveillance of other invasive mosquito species, and specifically the major vector Aedes aegypti which is already present in some parts of Europe.
    Keywords:  Asian bush mosquito; Basque Country; Cantabria; Citizen science; Culicidae; Northern Spain; West Nile virus
  3. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Jul 29. 15(7): e0009601
      BACKGROUND: Mosquito control interventions are widely used to reduce mosquito-borne diseases. It is unclear what combination of interventions are most effective in reducing human disease. A novel intervention study for Buruli ulcer targeting mosquito vectors was proposed for a Buruli ulcer-endemic area of Victoria, Australia. The local community expressed a preference for avoiding widespread residual spraying of pyrethroids. To inform the design of a future cluster randomised control study (cRCT) for Buruli ulcer prevention in Victoria, we conducted a systematic literature review.AIMS: The aim was to describe cRCT designs which investigated interventions other than non-targeted insecticide for reducing mosquito-borne disease transmission, and comment on the strengths and weaknesses of these study designs.
    METHODS: Five medical research databases were searched for eligible literature from the earliest available sources up to 5 July 2019 (Medline, Embase, Web of Science, EBM Reviews, CAB Direct). Reference lists of identified studies were hand searched. Eligible studies were cRCTs using targeted chemical or biological mosquito control interventions, or mosquito breeding source reduction, with the occurrence of mosquito-borne disease as an outcome.
    RESULTS: Eight eligible cRCTs, conducted between 1994-2013 were identified in a variety of settings in the Americas and Asia. Interventions to reduce dengue transmission were mass adult trapping and source reduction. Interventions to reduce malaria transmission were largescale larvicide administration and (topical and spatial) repellent use. Three studies showed the intervention was associated with statistically significant reductions in the disease of interest and entomological indicators. High community engagement with the intervention were common to all three. In two studies, large buffer zones reduced contamination between study arms. Heterogeneity was reduced through increasing study cluster numbers, cluster matching and randomisation.
    CONCLUSION: High community engagement is vital for a cRCT reducing mosquito-borne disease with a mosquito control intervention. These findings support a mosquito breeding source reduction intervention for Aedes control in a future study of Buruli ulcer prevention if local communities are supportive and very engaged. Regular administration of larvicide to sites unsuited to source reduction may supplement the intervention.
  4. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Jul 28. 14(1): 379
      BACKGROUND: Aedes aegypti can transmit arboviruses worldwide, and Bacillus thuringiensis svar. israelensis (Bti)-based larvicides represent an effective tool for controlling this species. The safety of Bti and lack of resistance have been widely reported; however, little is known regarding the impact of the extensive use of these larvicides on the life traits of mosquitoes. Therefore, this study investigated biological parameters, including susceptibility to arbovirus, of an Ae. aegypti strain (RecBti) subjected to 29 generations of exposure to Bti compared with the RecL reference strain.METHODS: The biological parameters of individuals reared under controlled conditions were compared. Also, the viral susceptibility of females not exposed to Bti during their larval stage was analysed by oral infection and followed until 14 or 21 days post-infection (dpi).
    RESULTS: RecBti individuals did not display alterations in the traits that were assessed (fecundity, fertility, pupal weight, developmental time, emergence rate, sex ratio and haematophagic capacity) compared to RecL individuals. Females from both strains were susceptible to dengue serotype 2 (DENV-2) and Zika virus (ZIKV). However, RecBti females showed significantly higher rates of ZIKV infection compared with RecL females at 7 (90% versus 68%, Chi-square: χ2 = 7.27, df = 1, P = 0.006) and 14 dpi (100% versus 87%, Chi-square: χ2 = 7.69, df = 1, P = 0.005) and for dissemination at 7 dpi (83.3% versus 36%, Fisher's exact test: P < 0.0001, OR = 0.11, 95% CI 0.03-0.32). Quantification of DENV-2 and ZIKV viral particles produced statistically similar results for females from both strains.
    CONCLUSIONS: Prolonged exposure of Ae. aegypti larvae to Bti did not alter most of the evaluated biological parameters, except that RecBti females exhibited a higher vector susceptibility for ZIKV. This finding is related to a background of Bti exposure for several generations but not to a previous exposure of the tested females during the larval stage. This study highlights mosquito responses that could be associated with the chronic exposure to Bti in addition to the primary larvicidal effect elicited by this control agent.
    Keywords:  Artificial infection; DENV; Fitness; Infection; Vector competence
  5. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Jul 27. 14(1): 378
      BACKGROUND: Ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA) could accelerate malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Subregion. This study was performed to characterize the bionomics of Anopheles in Surat Thani province, Thailand.METHODS: Mosquitoes were collected via human landing collections between February and October 2019. Anopheles mosquitoes were morphologically identified to species. Primary Anopheles malaria vectors were dissected to assess parity status, and a subset were evaluated for molecular identification and Plasmodium detection.
    RESULTS: A total of 17,348 mosquitoes were collected during the study period; of these, 5777 were Anopheles mosquitoes. Morphological studies identified 15 Anopheles species, of which the most abundant were Anopheles minimus (s.l.) (87.16%, n = 5035), An. dirus s.l. (7.05%, n = 407) and An. barbirostris s.l. (2.86%, n = 165). Molecular identification confirmed that of the An. minimus s.l. mosquitoes collected, 99.80% were An. minimus (s.s.) (n = 484) and 0.2% were An. aconitus (n = 1), of the An. dirus (s.l.) collected, 100% were An. baimaii (n = 348), and of the An. maculatus (s.l.) collected, 93.62% were An. maculatus (s.s.) (n = 44) and 6.38% were An. sawadwongporni (n = 3). No Anopheles mosquito tested was Plasmodium positive (0/879). An average of 11.46 Anopheles were captured per collector per night. There were differences between species in hour of collection (Kruskal-Wallis H-test: χ2 =  80.89, P < 0.0001, n = 5666), with more An. barbirostris (s.l.) and An. maculatus (s.l.) caught earlier compared to An. minimus (s.l.) (P = 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively) and An. dirus (s.l.) (P = 0.0082 and P < 0.001, respectively). The proportion of parous An. minimus (s.l.) captured by hour increased throughout the night (Wald Chi-square: χ2 = 17.31, P = 0.000, odds ratio = 1.0535, 95% confidence interval 1.0279-1.0796, n = 3400). Overall, An. minimus (s.l.) parity was 67.68% (2375/3509) with an intra-cluster correlation of 0.0378. A power calculation determined that an An. minimus (s.l.) parity reduction treatment effect size = 34%, with four clusters per treatment arm and a minimum of 300 mosquitoes dissected per cluster, at an α = 0.05, will provide 82% power to detect a significant difference following ivermectin MDA.
    CONCLUSIONS: The study area in Surat Thani province is an ideal location to evaluate the impact of ivermectin MDA on An. minimus parity.
    Keywords:  Anopheles; Malaria; Parity; Plasmodium; Surat Thani; Thailand
  6. Sci Rep. 2021 Jul 28. 11(1): 15337
      The epidemiology of human malaria differs considerably between and within geographic regions due, in part, to variability in mosquito species behaviours. Recently, the WHO emphasised stratifying interventions using local surveillance data to reduce malaria. The usefulness of vector surveillance is entirely dependent on the biases inherent in the sampling methods deployed to monitor mosquito populations. To understand and interpret mosquito surveillance data, the frequency of use of malaria vector collection methods was analysed from a georeferenced vector dataset (> 10,000 data records), extracted from 875 manuscripts across Africa, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region. Commonly deployed mosquito collection methods tend to target anticipated vector behaviours in a region to maximise sample size (and by default, ignoring other behaviours). Mosquito collection methods targeting both host-seeking and resting behaviours were seldomly deployed concurrently at the same site. A balanced sampling design using multiple methods would improve the understanding of the range of vector behaviours, leading to improved surveillance and more effective vector control.
  7. Malar J. 2021 Jul 27. 20(1): 328
      BACKGROUND: The selection and the spread of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors to the main classes of insecticides used in vector control tools are a major and ongoing challenge to malaria vector control programmes. This study aimed to determine the intensity of vector resistance to insecticides in three regions of Benin with different agro-ecological characteristics.METHODS: Larvae of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) were collected from September to November 2017 in different larval sites in three northern Benin communes: Parakou, Kandi and Malanville. Two to five-day-old, non-blood-fed, female mosquitoes were exposed to papers impregnated with deltamethrin, permethrin and bendiocarb at dosages of 1 × the diagnostic dose, 5 × and 10 × to determine the intensity of resistance in these vectors. Molecular frequencies of the kdr L1014F and ace-1R G119S insecticide resistance mutations and levels of detoxification enzymes were determined for mosquitoes sampled at each study site.
    RESULTS: Resistance to pyrethroids (permethrin and deltamethrin) was recorded in all three communes with mortality rates below 60% using the diagnostic dose (1x). The results obtained after exposure of An. gambiae to permethrin 10 × were 99% in Kandi, 98% in Malanville and 99% in Parakou. With deltamethrin 10x, mortality rates were 100% in Kandi, 96% in Malanville and 73% in Parakou. For the diagnostic dose of bendiocarb, suspected resistance was recorded in the communes of Malanville (97%) and Kandi (94%) while sensitivity was observed in Parakou (98%).Using the 10 × dose, mortality was 98% in Kandi, 100% in Malanville and 99% in Parakou. The frequencies of the kdr L1014F allele varied between 59 and 83% depending on the sites and species of the An. gambiae complex, while the frequency of the ace-1R G119S gene varied between 0 and 5%. Biochemical tests showed high levels of oxidase and esterase activity compared to the susceptible colony strain of An. gambiae sensu stricto (Kisumu strain).
    CONCLUSION: Anopheles gambiae showed a generalized loss of susceptibility to permethrin and deltamethrin but also showed moderate to high intensity of resistance in different regions of Benin. This high intensity of resistance is a potential threat to the effectiveness of vector control.
    Keywords:  Anopheles gambiae; Bendiocarb; Insecticide resistance; Intensity; Pyrethroids
  8. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Jul 29. pii: trab116. [Epub ahead of print]
      BACKGROUND: Insecticide resistance has become a widespread problem causing a decline in the effectiveness of vector control tools in sub-Saharan Africa. In this situation, ongoing monitoring of vector susceptibility to insecticides is encouraged by the WHO to guide national malaria control programmes. Our study was conducted from April to November 2018 in Tchonka (Sud-Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo) and reported primary data on the resistance status of Anopheles funestus and Anopheles gambiae.METHODS: Insecticide susceptibility bioassays were performed on wild populations of A. funestus and A. gambiae using WHO insecticide-impregnated papers at discriminating concentration. In addition, PCR was performed to identify mosquito species and to detect kdr and ace-1R mutations involved in insecticide resistance.
    RESULTS: Bioassay results show resistance to all tested insecticides except pirimiphos-methyl, propoxur, fenitrothion and malathion with a mortality rate ranging from 95.48 to 99.86%. The addition of piperonyl butoxide (PBO) increased the susceptibility of vectors to deltamethrin and alpha-cypermethrin by exhibiting a mortality ranging from 91.50 to 95.86%. The kdr mutation was detected at high frequencies (approximately 0.98) within A. gambiae while ace-1R was not detected.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study provides useful data on the insecticide resistance profiles of malaria vector populations to better manage vector control. Our results highlight that, despite the high level of resistance, organophosphorus compounds and pyrethroids + PBO remain effective against the vectors.
    Keywords:   Anopheles funestus ; Anopheles gambiae ; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Malaria; insecticide resistance
  9. Biomedica. 2021 05 31. 41(Supl. 1): 100-112
      INTRODUCTION: Malaria is a vector-borne disease widely distributed in the Amazon region and the coastal area of northern Ecuador. Its epidemiology involves related factors such as human settlements, vector reproduction sites, mobility, productive activity, and the response capacity of health systems, among others.OBJECTIVE: To describe malaria transmission by Plasmodium vivax in a non-endemic area of Ecuador by analyzing the epidemiological and entomological factors involved.
    MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted the epidemiological study of the cases reported in the Salinas canton and the characterization of vector breeding sites through captures of larvae and adult mosquitoes by human capture of resting mosquitoes.
    RESULTS: We detected 21 cases of malaria with local transmission related to the presence of initial cases in Venezuelan migrant patients and identified Anopheles albimanus as the predominant vector in natural breeding sites such as estuaries, wells, and water channels.
    CONCLUSIONS: We detected an outbreak of malaria triggered by imported cases from Venezuela. Climatic, social, environmental, and ecological conditions have favored the development of the vector maintaining the transmission cycle. Strategies to control imported malaria should be multiple including early case detection and control of productive breeding sites to avoid local transmission.
    Keywords:  Malaria/epidemiology; Plasmodium vivax; disease outbreak; transients and migrants
  10. J Med Entomol. 2021 Jul 27. pii: tjab127. [Epub ahead of print]
      Culiseta (Allotheobaldia) longiareolata (Macquart) (Diptera: Culicidae) is an ornithophilic mosquito species that occurs in the southern Palaearctic Region from the Azores to Central Asia, the Ethiopian Region, India, and Pakistan. Although it has a widespread distribution range, the species was only recently reported in Western and Central Europe. Between 2017 and 2020, larvae, pupae, and adults of Cs. longiareolata (n = 161) were found at 13 distinct locations in Belgium (n = 4) and The Netherlands (n = 9). Collected mosquitoes were morphologically identified and the identification was then validated by COI DNA barcoding. These are the first records of the species in the above-mentioned countries. The present results suggest that Cs. longiareolata could be increasing its distribution range in temperate regions, indicating a warming climate. As the species might be a potential vector of bird pathogens (e.g., West Nile virus), its spread in Western Europe is noteworthy.
    Keywords:  DNA barcoding; climate change; mosquito surveillance; new species record; range expansion
  11. Med Chem. 2021 Jul 27.
      BACKGROUND: Aedes aegypti is the primary dengue vector, a significant public health problem in many countries. Controlling the growth of Ae. aegypti is the biggest challenge in the mosquito control program, and there is a need for finding bioactive molecules to control Ae. aegypti in order to prevent dengue virus transmission.OBJECTIVE: To assess the mosquitocidal property of lawsone and its 3-methyl-4H-chromen-3-yl-1-phenylbenzo[6,7]chromeno[2,3,c]pyrazole-dione derivatives (6a-6h) against various life stages of Ae. aegypti. Besides, to study the mode of action of the active compound by molecular docking and histopathological analysis.
    METHODS: All derivatives were synthesized from the reaction between 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone, chromene-3-carbaldehyde, and 1-phenyl-3-methyl-pyrazol-5-one by using one pot sequential multicomponent reaction. The mosquito life stages were subjected to diverse concentrations ranging from 1.25, 2.5, 5.0, and 10 ppm for lawsone and its derivatives. The structure of all synthesized compounds was characterized by spectroscopic analysis. Docking analysis was performed using autodock tools. Midgut sections of Ae. aegypti larvae were analyzed for histopathological effects.
    RESULTS: Among the nine compounds screened, derivative 6e showed the highest mortality on Ae. aegypti life stages. The analyzed LC50 and LC90 results of derivative 6e were 3.01, 5.87 ppm, and 3.41, 6.28 ppm on larvae and pupae of Ae. aegypti, respectively. In the ovicidal assay, the derivative 6e recorded 47.2% egg mortality after 96-hour post-exposure to 10 ppm concentration. In molecular docking analysis, the derivative 6e confirmed strong binding interaction (-9.09 kcal/mol and -10.17 kcal/mol) with VAL 60 and HIS 62 of acetylcholinesterase 1 (AChE1) model and LYS 255, LYS 263 of kynurenine aminotransferase of Ae. aegypti, respectively. The histopathological results showed that the derivative 6e affected the columnar epithelial cells (CC) and peritrophic membrane (pM).
    CONCLUSION: The derivative 6e is highly effective in the life stages of Ae. aegypti mosquito and it could be used in the integrated mosquito management programme.
    Keywords:  2-hydroxy-1; 4-naphthoquinone; Aedes aegypti; Molecular docking; Mosquitocidal activity; Multi-Component Reaction
  12. Malar J. 2021 Jul 27. 20(1): 326
      BACKGROUND: Seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) consists of administration of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) + amodiaquine (AQ) at monthly intervals to children during the malaria transmission period. Whether the addition of azithromycin (AZ) to SMC could potentiate the benefit of the intervention was tested through a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The effect of SMC and the addition of AZ, on malaria transmission and on the life history traits of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes have been investigated.METHODS: The study included 438 children randomly selected from among participants in the SMC + AZ trial and 198 children from the same area who did not receive chemoprevention. For each participant in the SMC + AZ trial, blood was collected 14 to 21 days post treatment, examined for the presence of malaria sexual and asexual stages and provided as a blood meal to An. gambiae females using a direct membrane-feeding assay.
    RESULTS: The SMC treatment, with or without AZ, significantly reduced the prevalence of asexual Plasmodium falciparum (LRT X22 = 69, P < 0.0001) and the gametocyte prevalence (LRT X22 = 54, P < 0.0001). In addition, the proportion of infectious feeds (LRT X22 = 61, P < 0.0001) and the prevalence of oocysts among exposed mosquitoes (LRT X22 = 22.8, P < 0.001) was reduced when mosquitoes were fed on blood from treated children compared to untreated controls. The addition of AZ to SPAQ was associated with an increased proportion of infectious feeds (LRT X21 = 5.2, P = 0.02), suggesting a significant effect of AZ on gametocyte infectivity. There was a slight negative effect of SPAQ and SPAQ + AZ on mosquito survival compared to mosquitoes fed with blood from control children (LRTX22 = 330, P < 0.0001).
    CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that SMC may contribute to a reduction in human to mosquito transmission of P. falciparum, and the reduced mosquito longevity observed for females fed on treated blood may increase the benefit of this intervention in control of malaria. The addition of AZ to SPAQ in SMC appeared to enhance the infectivity of gametocytes providing further evidence that this combination is not an appropriate intervention.
    Keywords:  Azithromycin; Gametocytes; Seasonal malaria chemoprevention; Transmission
  13. Nat Commun. 2021 07 28. 12(1): 4589
      CRISPR-based gene-drives targeting the gene doublesex in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae effectively suppressed the reproductive capability of mosquito populations reared in small laboratory cages. To bridge the gap between laboratory and the field, this gene-drive technology must be challenged with vector ecology.Here we report the suppressive activity of the gene-drive in age-structured An. gambiae populations in large indoor cages that permit complex feeding and reproductive behaviours.The gene-drive element spreads rapidly through the populations, fully supresses the population within one year and without selecting for resistance to the gene drive. Approximate Bayesian computation allowed retrospective inference of life-history parameters from the large cages and a more accurate prediction of gene-drive behaviour under more ecologically-relevant settings.Generating data to bridge laboratory and field studies for invasive technologies is challenging. Our study represents a paradigm for the stepwise and sound development of vector control tools based on gene-drive.
  14. Biol Open. 2021 Jul 15. pii: bio058855. [Epub ahead of print]10(7):
      Vector-borne pathogens cause many human infectious diseases and are responsible for high mortality and morbidity throughout the world. They can also cause livestock epidemics with dramatic social and economic consequences. Due to its high costs, vector-borne disease surveillance is often limited to current threats, and the investigation of emerging pathogens typically occurs after the reports of clinical cases. Here, we use high-throughput sequencing to detect and identify a wide range of parasites and viruses carried by mosquitoes from Cambodia, Guinea, Mali and the USA. We apply this approach to individual Anopheles mosquitoes as well as pools of mosquitoes captured in traps; and compare the outcomes of this assay when applied to DNA or RNA. We identified known human and animal pathogens and mosquito parasites belonging to a wide range of taxa, as well as DNA sequences from previously uncharacterized organisms. Our results also revealed that analysis of the content of an entire trap could be an efficient approach to monitor and identify rare vector-borne pathogens in large surveillance studies. Overall, we describe a high-throughput and easy-to-customize assay to screen for a wide range of pathogens and efficiently complement current vector-borne disease surveillance approaches.
    Keywords:  Arbovirus; Emerging pathogens; Eukaryotic parasites; Surveillance; Vector-borne pathogens; Zoonosis
  15. PeerJ. 2021 ;9 e11776
      Background: Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is an arbovirus vector that has spread from its native habitation areal in Southeast Asia throughout North and South Americas, Europe, and Africa. Ae. albopictus was first detected in the Southern Federal District of the Russian Federation in the subtropical town of Sochi in 2011. In subsequent years, this species has been described in the continental areas with more severe climate and lower winter temperatures.Methods: Genomic analysis of pooled Ae. albopictus samples collected in the mosquito populations in the coastal and continental regions of the Krasnodar Krai was conducted to look for the genetic changes associated with the spread and potential cold adaptation in Ae. albopictus.
    Results: The results of the phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial genomes corresponded well with the hypothesis that Ae. albopictus haplotype A1a2a1 was introduced into the region from a single source. Population analysis revealed the role of dispersal and genetic drift in the local adaptation of the Asian tiger mosquito. The absence of shared haplotypes between the samples and high fixation indices suggest that gene flow between samples was heavily restricted. Mitochondrial and genomic differentiation together with different distances between dispersal routes, natural and anthropogenic barriers and local effective population size reduction could lead to difficulties in local climatic adaptations due to reduced selection effectiveness. We have found genomic regions with selective sweep patterns which can be considered as having been affected by recent selection events. The genes located in these regions participate in neural protection, lipid conservation, and cuticle formation during diapause. These processes were shown to be important for cold adaptation in the previous transcriptomic and proteomic studies. However, the population history and relatively low coverage obtained in the present article could have negatively affect sweep detection.
    Keywords:  Asian tiger mosquito; Cold adaptation; Invasive species; Pathogen vector; Population genomics
  16. Trends Parasitol. 2021 Jul 21. pii: S1471-4922(21)00164-1. [Epub ahead of print]
      In this review we examine how exploiting the Wolbachia-mosquito relationship has become an increasingly popular strategy for controlling arbovirus transmission. Field deployments of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes have led to significant decreases in dengue virus incidence via high levels of mosquito population suppression and replacement, emphasizing the success of Wolbachia approaches. Here, we examine how improved knowledge of Wolbachia-host interactions has provided key insight into the mechanisms of the essential phenotypes of pathogen blocking and cytoplasmic incompatibility. And we discuss recent studies demonstrating that extrinsic factors, such as ambient temperature, can modulate Wolbachia density and maternal transmission. Finally, we assess the prospects of using Wolbachia to control other vectors and agricultural pest species.
    Keywords:  Wolbachia–host interactions; arbovirus; cytoplasmic incompatibility; mosquito control; pathogen blocking; temperature
  17. Pathog Glob Health. 2021 Jul 27. 1-12
      In response to growing concerns regarding mosquito-borne diseases, scientists are developing novel systems of vector control. Early examples include Oxitec's OX513A genetically-engineered mosquito and MosquitoMate's Wolbachia-infected mosquito, and systems using 'gene-drive' are in development. Systems based on genetic engineering are controversial and institutions around the world are grappling with the question of who should have a say in how such technologies are field-tested and used. Based on media coverage and public records, we created comparative timelines of the efforts of Oxitec and MosquitoMate to navigate federal and local governance and bring their products to market in the United States. We analyze these timelines with particular attention to the role of public input in technology governance. These cases illustrate how governance of technology in the US is diverse, complex, and opaque. Further, the public response to proposed field trials of the Oxitec product highlights inconsistencies between public expectations for governance and actual practice. As gene-drive mosquito control products develop, both federal and local agencies will find their legitimacy tested without a better procedure for transparently integrating public input.
    Keywords:  United States; community and stakeholder engagement; gene drive; mosquito control; technology governance
  18. East Afr Health Res J. 2020 ;4(2): 189-193
      Background: Burundi is cited among countries where malaria remains endemic. Notably, malaria is highly endemic in Imbo region, a lowland lying astride Lake Tanganyika. Among key malaria riposte interventions includes the promotion of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs), but its incidence rate has not reduced. In this paper, we present the distribution of malaria species in 2 settings within Imbo region by accounting for the seasonal variations and the mostly infected populations.Methods: The study was conducted from 2 Health Care Centres of Murambi and Rugombo in Cibitoke District, Northern Burundi. Blood samples were collected on blood slides and the samples were used to confirm the presence of malaria parasites by microscopy.
    Results: The study observed an average malaria parasite prevalence of 32.5% across the selected site. Majority of patients 459(95.2%) were infected by P. falciparum while 8(1.7%) patients were infected by P. malariae. Patients from Murambi were more infected than those from Rugombo. P. falciparum was the most highly prevalent specie in the 2 localities. High prevalence was observed in children aged between 2 and 5 years. Among older participants P. falciparum still predominated and mixed infections were rather the least prevalent.
    Conclusion: This study showed that P. falciparum and P. malariae are the most parasites involved in malaria morbidity in North Imbo region. The transmission of P. falciparum was observed year-round. Patients in Murambi are most exposed to malaria infections than those in Rugombo. Further research at large scale including entomological studies is required to better understand the relationship between Entomological Inoculation Rates (EIR) and malaria transmission levels in this setting.
  19. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Jul 26. 15(7): e0009606
      An effective and widely used vaccine could reduce the burden of dengue virus (DENV) around the world. DENV is endemic in Puerto Rico, where the dengue vaccine CYD-TDV is currently under consideration as a control measure. CYD-TDV has demonstrated efficacy in clinical trials in vaccinees who had prior dengue virus infection. However, in vaccinees who had no prior dengue virus infection, the vaccine had a modestly elevated risk of hospitalization and severe disease. The WHO therefore recommended a strategy of pre-vaccination screening and vaccination of seropositive persons. To estimate the cost-effectiveness and benefits of this intervention (i.e., screening and vaccination of seropositive persons) in Puerto Rico, we simulated 10 years of the intervention in 9-year-olds using an agent-based model. Across the entire population, we found that 5.5% (4.6%-6.3%) of dengue hospitalizations could be averted. However, we also found that 0.057 (0.045-0.073) additional hospitalizations could occur for every 1,000 people in Puerto Rico due to DENV-naïve children who were vaccinated following a false-positive test results for prior exposure. The ratio of the averted hospitalizations among all vaccinees to additional hospitalizations among DENV-naïve vaccinees was estimated to be 19 (13-24). At a base case cost of vaccination of 382 USD, we found an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of 122,000 USD per QALY gained. Our estimates can provide information for considerations to introduce the CYD-TDV vaccine in Puerto Rico.
  20. J Med Entomol. 2021 Jul 30. pii: tjab132. [Epub ahead of print]
      This study assessed the perception of pregnant women on indoor residual spraying (IRS), documented acceptability, and factors that significantly dictate willingness to use IRS among the pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in Ibadan Nigeria. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain relevant information from 500 pregnant women. Descriptive and principal component analysis (PCA) were done at 5% level of significance. Majority of the pregnant women had between good and fair knowledge of IRS. Less than 70% of the respondents were willing to allow IRS in their homes. Our PCA revealed that major factors responsible for acceptance and willingness to use IRS were associated with perceived benefits, advantages, and disadvantages of IRS rather than overall knowledge of IRS among the respondents. The analysis revealed that these factors were responsible for at least 80% of the reasons for a pregnant woman to willingly accept IRS or not. The factors that positively influenced willingness to use IRS include its benefit in controlling mosquitoes and other insects, reducing malaria incidence, and prolonged effects of IRS which is an added advantage over continuous purchase of aerosols. One major factor that may negatively affect the acceptance of IRS is the fact that you may have to pack out of the house and wait for more than 3 d before entering. This current study has identified some specific factors that seem to promote and/or reduce willingness to accept IRS as a malaria control intervention among pregnant women in South Western Nigeria.
    Keywords:  acceptance; indoor residual spraying; malaria; willingness to use IRS
  21. Front Med (Lausanne). 2021 ;8 617195
      Background: Mass drug administration with artemisinin-piperaquine (AP-MDA) is being considered for elimination of residual foci of malaria in Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Principe. Methods: Three monthly rounds of AP-MDA were implemented from July to October 2019. Four zones were selected. A and B were selected as a study site and a control site, respectively. C and D were located within 1.5 and 1.5 km away from the study site, respectively. Parasite prevalence, malaria incidence, and the proportion of the Plasmodium falciparum malaria cases were evaluated. Results: After 3 monthly rounds of AP-MDA, the parasite prevalence and the gametocyte carriage rate of P. falciparum in zone A decreased from 28.29(‰) to 0 and 4.99(‰) to 0, respectively. Compared to zone B, the relative risk for the population with Plasmodium falciparum malaria in zone A was lower (RR = 0.458, 95% CI: 0.146-1.437). Malaria incidence fell from 290.49(‰) (the same period of the previous year) to 15.27(‰) (from the 29th week in 2019 to the 14th week in 2020), a decrease of 94.74% in zone A, and from 31.74 to 5.46(‰), a decline of 82.80% in zone B. Compared to the data of the same period the previous year, the cumulative number of P. falciparum malaria cases were lower, decreasing from 165 to 10 in zone A and from 17 to 4 in zone B. The proportion of the P. falciparum malaria cases on the total malaria cases of the country decreased of 90.16% in zone A and 71.34% in zone C. Conclusion: AP-MDA greatly curbed malaria transmission by reducing malaria incidence in the study site and simultaneously creating a knock-on effect of malaria control within 1.5 km of the study site and within the limited time interval of 38 weeks.
    Keywords:  P. falciparum; artemisinin-piperaquine; elimination; malaria foci; mass drug administration
  22. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Jul 27. 15(7): e0009637
      Wolbachia is currently at the forefront of global efforts to control arbovirus transmission from the vector Aedes aegypti. The use of Wolbachia relies on two phenotypes-cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), conferred by cifA and cifB genes in prophage WO, and Wolbachia-mediated pathogen blocking (WMPB). These traits allow for local, self-sustaining reductions in transmission of dengue (DENV) following release of Wolbachia-infected A. aegypti. Here, aided by previous artificial selection experiment that generated Low and High pathogen blocking lines, we examined the potential link between WMPB and phage WO. We found no evidence that Wolbachia or phage WO relative densities predict DENV blocking strength across selected lines. However, selection resulted in reduced phage WO relative density for the Low WMPB line. The Low blocking line was previously shown to have reduced fitness as a result of selection. Through subsequent genomic analyses, we demonstrate that SNP variation underpinning selection for low blocking led to elevated frequency of potential deleterious SNPs on chromosome 1. The key region on chromosome 1 contains genes relating to cell cycle regulation, oxidative stress, transcriptional pausing, among others, that may have cascading effects on Wolbachia intracellular environment. We hypothesize that reduction in phage WO may be driven by changes in the loci directly under selection for blocking, or by the accumulation of predicted deleterious alleles in linkage disequilibrium with blocking loci resulting from hitchhiking. For the Low line with fewer phage WO, we also detected reduced expression of cifA and cifB CI genes, with patterns of expression varying between somatic and reproductive tissues. In conclusion, we propose that artificial selection for WMPB trait had corresponding impacts on phage WO densities, and also the transcription of CI-causing genes. Future studies may include a more detailed analysis of the regions the A. aegypti chromosome 1's ability to affect WMPB and other Wolbachia-associated intrinsic factors such as phage WO.
  23. Biomedica. 2021 05 31. 41(Supl. 1): 121-130
      Introduction: Malaria represents one of the biggest public health challenges, mainly in poor countries. Colombia has social characteristics such as migration, informal work, and economic shortages that favor illegal mining activities. The study of the malaria situation in these areas would allow establishing the bases for its prevention, control, and treatment in the existing public health programs. Objective: To describe the malaria situation in Colombian mining populations between 2012 and 2018. Materials and methods. We conducted a retrospective descriptive study with graphs and maps. For the statistical analysis, we used Pearson´s correlation and Moran’s index. Results. From 2012 to 2018, 44,032 cases of malaria were reported in the mining population, 43,900 of uncomplicated malaria and 132 of complicated malaria, and three deaths, two due to Plasmodium vivax and one due to mixed infection. During this period, there was a decrease of 44.7% in cases. The risk rate in 2012 was 2.5 cases x 1000 inhabitants; 87.3% of cases were in men, and 37.9% corresponded to the 20 to 29-year-old age group while 46.7% were AfroColombians. We found a possible moderate positive linear correlation: The greater the mining activity, the greater the number of malaria cases. The global Moran index indicated a significant spatial grouping of cases in mining activities in Colombian Pacific municipalities. Conclusions. The case notification decrease during this period could be attributed to an underreporting of the public health surveillance system (Sivigila) system, as most miners do not have formal jobs, which prevents them from accessing health services. A cohort study is recommended in endemic areas to establish a direct relationship between mining exploitation and the occurrence of malaria cases.
    Keywords:  Malaria; vector borne diseases; mining; public health surveillance; Colombia
  24. Vet Med Sci. 2021 Jul 29.
      West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus of a re-emergence importance with a wide range of vertebrate hosts. Granted, it causes asymptomatic infection, but fatal cases and neurologic disorders were also recorded, especially in humans, horses and some exposed birds. The virus is globally spread and birds are considered an amplifying and reservoir host of WNV, helping to spread the disease due to their close contact with main hosts. In this study, we aimed to detect the presence of antibodies against WNV in backyard hens that were reared in the western Anatolian part of Turkey. A total of 480 chicken sera were randomly collected from six provinces in the west of Turkey (Mugla, Izmir, Aydin, Afyonkarahisar, Kutahya and Manisa) with 80 samples from each province (40 in spring and 40 in fall seasons). They were tested by using a competitive ELISA method to identify the specific avian antibodies of IgG that produced against the WNV envelope proteins (pr-E). Twelve of 480 (2.5%) sera were found seropositive, three of these positive sera were detected from the Izmir province (3.75%) collected in the spring session and the other nine positive sera were detected from the Mugla province (11.25%) collected in the fall session. Both of these provinces are located seaside and have suitable climate conditions for vectors of infection. The results indicated that WNV infection is in circulation in these provinces, and that may put the other susceptible vertebrates under risk of infection.
    Keywords:  ELISA; Turkey; West Nile virus; backyard hens; seropositive