bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2021‒10‒31
nineteen papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. Trop Med Infect Dis. 2021 Sep 28. pii: 176. [Epub ahead of print]6(4):
      Seasonal patterns of mosquito population density and their vectorial capacity constitute major elements to understand the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases. Using adult mosquito traps, we compared the population dynamics of major mosquito species (Culex pipiens, Aedes albopictus, Anopheles spp.) in an urban and a wetland rural area of Attica Greece. Pools of the captured Cx. pipiens were analyzed to determine infection rates of the West Nile virus (WNV) and the Usutu virus (USUV). The data provided were collected under the frame of the surveillance program carried out in two regional units (RUs) of the Attica region (East Attica and South Sector of Attica), during the period 2017-2018. The entomological surveillance of adult mosquitoes was performed on a weekly basis using a network of BG-sentinel traps (BGs), baited with CO2 and BG-Lure, in selected, fixed sampling sites. A total of 46,726 adult mosquitoes were collected, with larger variety and number of species in East Attica (n = 37,810), followed by the South Sector of Attica (n = 8916). The collected mosquitoes were morphologically identified to species level and evaluated for their public health importance. Collected Cx. pipiens adults were pooled and tested for West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV) presence by implementation of a targeted molecular methodology (real-time PCR). A total of 366 mosquito pools were analyzed for WNV and USUV, respectively, and 38 (10.4%) positive samples were recorded for WNV, while no positive pool was detected for USUV. The majority of positive samples for WNV were detected in the East Attica region, followed by the South Sector of Attica, respectively. The findings of the current study highlight the WNV circulation in the region of Attica and the concomitant risk for the country, rendering mosquito surveillance actions and integrated mosquito management programs as imperative public health interventions.
    Keywords:  BG-sentinel; Culex; RT-PCR; fixed sampling site; pathogens
  2. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Oct 29. 14(1): 559
      BACKGROUND: Despite concerns regarding increasingly frequent and intense heat waves due to global warming, there is still a lack of information on the effects of extremely high temperatures on the adult abundance of mosquito species that are known to transmit vector-borne diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of extremely high temperatures on the abundance of mosquitoes by analyzing time series data for temperature and mosquito abundance in Incheon Metropolitan City (IMC), Republic of Korea, for the period from 2015 to 2020.METHODS: A generalized linear model with Poisson distribution and overdispersion was used to model the nonlinear association between temperature and mosquito count for the whole study area and for its constituent urban and rural regions. The association parameters were pooled using multivariate meta-regression. The temperature-mosquito abundance curve was estimated from the pooled estimates, and the ambient temperature at which mosquito populations reached maximum abundance (TMA) was estimated using a Monte Carlo simulation method. To quantify the effect of extremely high temperatures on mosquito abundance, we estimated the mosquito abundance ratio (AR) at the 99th temperature percentile (AR99th) against the TMA.
    RESULTS: Culex pipiens was the most common mosquito species (51.7%) in the urban region of the IMC, while mosquitoes of the genus Aedes (Ochlerotatus) were the most common in the rural region (47.8%). Mosquito abundance reached a maximum at 23.5 °C for Cx. pipiens and 26.4 °C for Aedes vexans. Exposure to extremely high temperatures reduced the abundance of Cx. pipiens mosquitoes {AR99th 0.34 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.21-0.54]} to a greater extent than that of Anopheles spp. [AR99th 0.64 (95% CI 0.40-1.03)]. When stratified by region, Ae. vexans and Ochlerotatus koreicus mosquitoes showed higher TMA and a smaller reduction in abundance at extreme heat in urban Incheon than in Ganghwa, suggesting that urban mosquitoes can thrive at extremely high temperatures as they adapt to urban thermal environments.
    CONCLUSIONS: We confirmed that the temperature-related abundance of the adult mosquitoes was species and location specific. Tailoring measures for mosquito prevention and control according to mosquito species and anticipated extreme temperature conditions would help to improve the effectiveness of mosquito-borne disease control programs.
    Keywords:  Aedes; Anopheles; Climate change; Culex; Mosquito population density; Mosquito-borne diseases
  3. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Oct 28. 15(10): e0009896
      Larval surveillance is the central approach for monitoring dengue vector populations in Indonesia. However, traditional larval indices are ineffective for measuring mosquito population dynamics and predicting the dengue transmission risk. We conducted a 14-month ovitrap surveillance. Eggs and immature mosquitoes were collected on a weekly basis from an urban village of Bandung, namely Sekejati. Ovitrap-related indices, namely positive house index (PHI), ovitrap index (OI), and ovitrap density index (ODI), were generated and correlated with environmental variables, housing type (terraced or high-density housing), ovitrap placement location (indoor or outdoor; household or public place), and local dengue cases. Our results demonstrated that Aedes aegypti was significantly predominant compared with Aedes albopictus at each housing type and ovitrap placement location. Ovitrap placement locations and rainfall were the major factors contributing to variations in PHI, OI, and ODI, whereas the influences of housing type and temperature were subtle. Indoor site values were significantly positively correlated to outdoor sites' values for both OI and ODI. OI and ODI values from households were best predicted with those from public places at 1- and 0-week lags, respectively. Weekly rainfall values at 4- and 3-week lags were the best predictors of OI and ODI for households and public places, respectively. Monthly mean PHI, OI, and ODI were significantly associated with local dengue cases. In conclusion, ovitrap may be an effective tool for monitoring the population dynamics of Aedes mosquitoes, predicting dengue outbreaks, and serving as an early indicator to initiate environmental clean-up. Ovitrap surveillance is easy for surveyors if they are tasked with a certain number of ovitraps at a designated area, unlike the existing larval surveillance methodology, which entails identifying potential breeding sites largely at the surveyors' discretion. Ovitrap surveillance may reduce the influence of individual effort in larval surveillance that likely causes inconsistency in results.
  4. Malar J. 2021 Oct 23. 20(1): 415
      Supplementary tools are required to address the limitations of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS), which are currently the core vector control methods against malaria in Africa. The eave ribbons technology exploits the natural house-entry behaviours of major malaria vectors to deliver mosquitocidal or repellent actives around eave spaces through which the Anopheles mosquitoes usually enter human dwellings. They confer protection by preventing biting indoors and in the peri-domestic outdoor spaces, and also killing a significant proportion of the mosquitoes. Current versions of eave ribbons are made of low-cost hessian fabric infused with candidate insecticides and can be easily fitted onto multiple house types without any additional modifications. This article reviews the evidence for efficacy of the technology, and discusses its potential as affordable and versatile supplementary approach for targeted and efficient control of mosquito-borne diseases, particularly malaria. Given their simplicity and demonstrated potential in previous studies, future research should investigate ways to optimize scalability and effectiveness of the ribbons. It is also important to assess whether the ribbons may constitute a less-cumbersome, but more affordable substitute for other interventions, such as IRS, by judiciously using lower quantities of selected insecticides targeted around eave spaces to deliver equivalent or greater suppression of malaria transmission.
    Keywords:  Eave ribbons; Indoor residual spraying; Malaria; Spatial repellents
  5. Malar J. 2021 Oct 29. 20(1): 426
      BACKGROUND: Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite infection, increases as Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infections decrease in Johor, Malaysia. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the distribution of vectors involved in knowlesi malaria transmission in Johor. This finding is vital in estimating hotspot areas for targeted control strategies.METHODS: Anopheles mosquitoes were collected from the location where P. knowlesi cases were reported. Cases of knowlesi malaria from 2011 to 2019 in Johor were analyzed. Internal transcribed spacers 2 (ITS2) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) genes were used to identify the Leucosphyrus Group of Anopheles mosquitoes. In addition, spatial analysis was carried out on the knowlesi cases and vectors in Johor.
    RESULTS: One hundred and eighty-nine cases of P. knowlesi were reported in Johor over 10 years. Young adults between the ages of 20-39 years comprised 65% of the cases. Most infected individuals were involved in agriculture and army-related occupations (22% and 32%, respectively). Four hundred and eighteen Leucosphyrus Group Anopheles mosquitoes were captured during the study. Anopheles introlatus was the predominant species, followed by Anopheles latens. Spatial analysis by Kriging interpolation found that hotspot regions of P. knowlesi overlapped or were close to the areas where An. introlatus and An. latens were found. A significantly high number of vectors and P. knowlesi cases were found near the road within 0-5 km.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study describes the distribution of P. knowlesi cases and Anopheles species in malaria-endemic transmission areas in Johor. Geospatial analysis is a valuable tool for studying the relationship between vectors and P. knowlesi cases. This study further supports that the Leucosphyrus Group of mosquitoes might be involved in transmitting knowlesi malaria cases in Johor. These findings may provide initial evidence to prioritize diseases and vector surveillance.
    Keywords:  Anopheles; COI; GIS; ITS2; Johor; Knowlesi malaria; Leucosphyrus; Malaysia; Plasmodium knowlesi; Spatial distribution
  6. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2021 Oct 30.
      Entomopathogenic fungi can achieve important innovative outcomes for integrated mosquito control especially of Aedes aegypti, the key vector of arboviruses to humans in the tropics and subtropics. This study sought to design and to develop a simple dissemination device to attract and to infect gravid A. aegypti adults with a granular formulation of the ascomycete Metarhizium humberi IP 46, and to validate this device in the laboratory as well as in semi-field and field conditions. Hydrogel (polyacrylamide potassium polyacrylate) was confirmed to be a suitable substitute for water used in the device that attracted gravid females under field conditions. Females laid eggs on black polyethylene terephthalate carpet fixed in the device that also proved to be a suitable substrate for a granular formulation of fungal microsclerotia and/or conidia. The plastic device (29.5 cm high) was divided into a lower closed compartment with a water reservoir and an upper, laterally open but covered compartment with continuously hydrated gel and the fungal formulation attached to the carpet. The uppermost compartment permitted free circulation of mosquito adults. The device attracted both male and female A. aegypti. The fungal formulations of IP 46 propagules tested in the device were effective against adults in laboratory, semi-field, and field settings. Findings in the laboratory, semi-field, and especially in field conditions strengthen the value and utility of this innovative device for focal applications of a mycoinsecticide against this important mosquito vector.Key points• Low-cost and simple disseminating device for focal control of Aedes aegypti.• Granulized Metarhizium humberi IP 46 and hydrogel yield extended control.• Findings in field tests strengthen benefit of the device for focal application.
    Keywords:  Biological control; Dissemination device; Field test; Formulation; Metarhizium; Mosquito
  7. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Oct 25. 15(10): e0009837
      Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) causes morbidity and mortality in humans and domestic ungulates in sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula. Mosquito vectors transmit RVFV between vertebrates by bite, and also vertically to produce infectious progeny. Arrival of RVFV into the United States by infected mosquitoes or humans could result in significant impacts on food security, human health, and wildlife health. Elucidation of the vectors involved in the post-introduction RVFV ecology is paramount to rapid implementation of vector control. We performed vector competence experiments in which field-collected mosquitoes were orally exposed to an epidemic strain of RVFV via infectious blood meals. We targeted floodwater Aedes species known to feed on cattle, and/or deer species (Aedes melanimon Dyar, Aedes increpitus Dyar, Aedes vexans Meigen). Two permanent-water-breeding species were targeted as well: Culiseta inornata Williston of unknown competence considering United States populations, and Culex tarsalis Coquillett as a control species for which transmission efficiency is known. We tested the potential for midgut infection, midgut escape (dissemination), ovarian infection (vertical transmission), and transmission by bite (infectious saliva). Tissues were assayed by plaque assay and RT-qPCR, to quantify infectious virus and confirm virus identity. Tissue infection data were analyzed using a within-host model under a Bayesian framework to determine the probabilities of infection 'outcomes' (midgut-limited infection, disseminated infection, etc.) while estimating barriers to infection between tissues. Permanent-water-breeding mosquitoes (Cx. tarsalis and Cs. inornata) exhibited more efficient horizontal transmission, as well as potential for vertical transmission, which is contrary to the current assumptions of RVFV ecology. Barrier estimates trended higher for Aedes spp., suggesting systemic factors in the differences between these species and Cx. tarsalis and Cs. inornata. These data indicate higher potential for vertical transmission than previously appreciated, and support the consensus of RVFV transmission including a broad range of potential vectors.
  8. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Oct 23. 14(1): 547
      BACKGROUND: Estimates of the geographical distribution of Culex mosquitoes in the Americas have been limited to state and provincial levels in the United States and Canada and based on data from the 1980s. Since these estimates were made, there have been many more documented observations of mosquitoes and new methods have been developed for species distribution modeling. Moreover, mosquito distributions are affected by environmental conditions, which have changed since the 1980s. This calls for updated estimates of these distributions to understand the risk of emerging and re-emerging mosquito-borne diseases.METHODS: We used contemporary mosquito data, environmental drivers, and a machine learning ecological niche model to create updated estimates of the geographical range of seven predominant Culex species across North America and South America: Culex erraticus, Culex nigripalpus, Culex pipiens, Culex quinquefasciatus, Culex restuans, Culex salinarius, and Culex tarsalis.
    RESULTS: We found that Culex mosquito species differ in their geographical range. Each Culex species is sensitive to both natural and human-influenced environmental factors, especially climate and land cover type. Some prefer urban environments instead of rural ones, and some are limited to tropical or humid areas. Many are found throughout the Central Plains of the USA.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our updated contemporary Culex distribution maps may be used to assess mosquito-borne disease risk. It is critical to understand the current geographical distributions of these important disease vectors and the key environmental predictors structuring their distributions not only to assess current risk, but also to understand how they will respond to climate change. Since the environmental predictors structuring the geographical distribution of mosquito species varied, we hypothesize that each species may have a different response to climate change.
    Keywords:  Infectious disease; Mosquito-borne disease; Mosquitoes; Niche model; Species distribution; Vectors
  9. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2021 Oct 20. pii: S1477-8939(21)00220-9. [Epub ahead of print] 102179
      BACKGROUND: Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses represent a serious public health problem. No evidence is available on the efficacy of repellents commercially available in Brazil. This systematic review assessed the efficacy and safety of products containing repellents commercially available in Brazil for protection against bites from Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.METHODS: We performed a systematic review using the CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, AMED, LILACS and Scopus databases. Randomized clinical trials and non-randomized clinical trials comparing topical repellent products registered with the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency were included. Main outcomes of interest investigated were adverse effects, percentage repellency and protection time against bites. Pairs of reviewers selected the studies, extracted the data and evaluated the risk of bias.
    RESULTS: Sixteen studies were included. No adverse effects were reported by the studies. Against Ae. aegypti: protection time using DEET (10% and 20%-spray) was similar to IR3535 (10% and 20%-spray) and longer than citronella (5%-spray). DEET (25%-solution) had longer protection time than eucalyptus (25%-solution), while DEET (20%-lotion) had longer protection time than citronella (10%-lotion). There was no difference in protection time between herbal repellents. DEET (7% and 15%- spray) had higher percentage repellency compared to both icaridin (7%-spray) and IR3535 (20%-spray). Against Ae. albopictus: DEET (15%-spray) had a similar protection time to icaridin (20%-spray), but longer than citronella (10%-spray).
    CONCLUSION: DEET proved more effective than the other synthetic and natural repellents marketed in Brazil for protecting against bites from the mosquito species investigated. All repellents studied exhibited satisfactory safety profile.
    Keywords:  Chikungunya; Dengue; Efficacy; Insect repellents; Safety; Zika
  10. Geohealth. 2021 Oct;5(10): e2021GH000436
      The GLOBE Program's GLOBE Observer application is a free citizen science mobile data collection and visualization tool compatible with iOS and Android operating systems. Citizen scientists armed with the app can report the mosquito larval habitats they identify using the GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mapper tool. This data can complement the climate, weather, and land cover data obtained from satellite measurements by scientists who develop risk models for mosquito-borne diseases. Public participation in mosquito surveillance research provides the opportunity to obtain the volume, velocity and variety of data needed to fight the threat of vector-borne diseases, especially in under-resourced communities with minimal to no municipal surveillance and mitigation services. GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mappers document and describe potential and active mosquito larval habitats in and around their homes and communities. An easy-to-use pictorial interface enables users to geolocate and describe oviposition sites encountered, count and identify mosquito larvae, and when appropriate, eliminate the larval habitats. During Mosquito Habitat Mapper's first 3 years of use, over 24,000 data observations have been reported throughout the world. This technical report summarizes GLOBE Mosquito Habitat Mapper data reported by GLOBE citizen scientists from three regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Localized mosquito larvae distribution patterns were examined by comparing data collected in three cities in Senegal-Dakar, Touba, and Thilmakha. The Senegal data show habitat and genera differences among mosquitoes identified by citizen scientists in the cities and illustrates the potential of the app for community-based surveillance and research.
    Keywords:  citizen science; data quality; geohealth; mobile app; mosquitoes
  11. Sci Rep. 2021 Oct 26. 11(1): 21129
      In the Americas, some mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika, chikungunya, and dengue circulate among humans in urban transmission cycles, while others, including yellow fever and Mayaro, circulate among monkeys in sylvatic cycles. The intersection of humans and wildlife at forest edges creates risk for zoonotic virus exchange. We built a scaffold tower at the edge of a treefall gap in rainforest bordering Manaus, Brazil, to identify vectors that may bridge transmission between humans and monkeys. We vertically sampled diurnally active, anthropophilic mosquitoes using handheld nets at 0, 5, and 9 m and container-breeding mosquitoes in ovitraps at 0, 5, 10, and 15 m. Haemagogus janthinomys and Psorophora amazonica were present in high relative abundance in nets at each height sampled, while anthropophilic species were uncommon in ovitraps. Hg. janthinomys was more abundant at elevated heights than at ground level, while Ps. amazonica abundance was not significantly stratified across heights. The presence of each species increased with increasing 7-day rainfall lagged at 1 week, and at 1 and 4 weeks prior to collection, respectively. In addition, Hg. janthinomys was most frequently collected at 29.9 °C, irrespective of height. These data provide insight into the potential role of each species as bridge vectors.
  12. Viruses. 2021 Oct 03. pii: 1988. [Epub ahead of print]13(10):
      Early March 2019, health authorities of Matadi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo alerted a sudden increase in acute fever/arthralgia cases, prompting an outbreak investigation. We collected surveillance data, clinical data, and laboratory specimens from clinical suspects (for CHIKV-PCR/ELISA, malaria RDT), semi-structured interviews with patients/caregivers about perceptions and health seeking behavior, and mosquito sampling (adult/larvae) for CHIKV-PCR and estimation of infestation levels. The investigations confirmed a large CHIKV outbreak that lasted February-June 2019. The total caseload remained unknown due to a lack of systematic surveillance, but one of the two health zones of Matadi notified 2686 suspects. Of the clinical suspects we investigated (n = 220), 83.2% were CHIKV-PCR or IgM positive (acute infection). One patient had an isolated IgG-positive result (while PCR/IgM negative), suggestive of past infection. In total, 15% had acute CHIKV and malaria. Most adult mosquitoes and larvae (>95%) were Aedes albopictus. High infestation levels were noted. CHIKV was detected in 6/11 adult mosquito pools, and in 2/15 of the larvae pools. This latter and the fact that 2/6 of the CHIKV-positive adult pools contained only males suggests transovarial transmission. Interviews revealed that healthcare seeking shifted quickly toward the informal sector and self-medication. Caregivers reported difficulties to differentiate CHIKV, malaria, and other infectious diseases resulting in polypharmacy and high out-of-pocket expenditure. We confirmed a first major CHIKV outbreak in Matadi, with main vector Aedes albopictus. The health sector was ill-prepared for the information, surveillance, and treatment needs for such an explosive outbreak in a CHIKV-naïve population. Better surveillance systems (national level/sentinel sites) and point-of-care diagnostics for arboviruses are needed.
    Keywords:  Aedes albopictus; Democratic Republic of the Congo; chikungunya; multidisciplinary; outbreak investigation
  13. BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Oct 27. 21(1): 1107
      BACKGROUND: More than 5 years after the Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic, Zika infection remains a major concern in regions with high Aedes infestation. The objectives of this study were (i) to identify clusters of ZIKV infection and microcephaly, and/or central nervous system (CNS) alterations associated with congenital infection during the epidemic peak in 2016 and subsequently, in 2017 and 2018; (ii) to measure the non-spatial correlation between ZIKV infection and microcephaly and/or CNS alterations associated with congenital infection; and (iii) to analyse the sociodemographic/economic, health, and environmental determinants associated with the incidence of ZIKV in a region of high infestation by Aedes aegypti in the Central-West Region of Brazil.METHODS: This ecological study analysed 246 municipalities in the state of Goiás (6.9 million inhabitants). The data were obtained from the Information System for Notifiable Diseases (ZIKV cases) and the Public Health Event Registry (microcephaly and/or CNS alterations associated with congenital infection). Incidence rates and prevalence of ZIKA infection were smoothed by an empirical Bayesian estimator (LEbayes), producing the local empirical Bayesian rate (LEBR). In the spatial analysis, ZIKV infection and microcephaly cases were georeferenced by the municipality of residence for 2016 and grouped for 2017 and 2018. Global Moran's I and the Hot Spot Analysis tool (Getis-Ord Gi* statistics) were used to analyse the spatial autocorrelation and clusters of ZIKV infection and microcephaly, respectively. A generalised linear model from the Poisson family was used to assess the association between ecological determinants and the smoothing incidence rate of ZIKV infection.
    RESULTS: A total of 9892 cases of acute ZIKV infection and 121 cases of microcephaly were confirmed. The mean LEBR of the ZIKV infection in the 246 municipalities was 22.3 cases/100,000 inhabitants in 2016, and 10.3 cases/100,000 inhabitants in 2017 and 2018. The LEBR of the prevalence rate of microcephaly and/or CNS alterations associated with congenital infection was 7 cases/10,000 live births in 2016 and 2 cases/10,000 live births during 2017-2018. Hotspots of ZIKV infection and microcephaly cases were identified in the capital and neighbouring municipalities in 2016, with new clusters in the following years. In a multiple regression Poisson analysis, ZIKV infection was associated with higher population density, the incidence of dengue, Aedes larvae infestation index, and average rainfall. The important determinant of ZIKV infection incidence reduction was the increase in households attended by endemic disease control agents.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses were able to capture, in a more granular way, aspects that make it possible to inform public managers of the sentinel areas identified in the post-epidemic hotspots.
    Keywords:  Arbovirus; Brazil; Microcephaly; Public health; Socioeconomic status; Spatial analysis; Zika virus
  14. Virus Evol. 2021 ;7(2): veab082
      The Australian backyard mosquito, Aedes notoscriptus, is a highly urbanised pest species that has invaded New Zealand and the USA. Importantly, Ae. notoscriptus has been implicated as a vector of Ross River virus, a common and arthritogenic arbovirus in Australia, and is a laboratory vector of numerous other pathogenic viruses, including West Nile, yellow fever, and Zika viruses. To further explore live viruses harboured by field populations of Ae. notoscriptus and, more specifically, assess the genetic diversity of its virome, we processed 495 pools, comprising a total of 6,674 female Ae. notoscriptus collected across fifteen suburbs in Brisbane, Australia, between January 2018 and May 2019. Nine virus isolates were recovered and characterised by metagenomic sequencing and phylogenetics. The principal viral family represented was Flaviviridae. Known viruses belonging to the genera Flavivirus, Orbivirus, Mesonivirus, and Nelorpivirus were identified together with two novel virus species, including a divergent Thogoto-like orthomyxovirus and an insect-specific flavivirus. Among these, we recovered three Stratford virus (STRV) isolates and an isolate of Wongorr virus (WGRV), which for these viral species is unprecedented for the geographical area of Brisbane. Thus, the documented geographical distribution of STRV and WGRV, both known for their respective medical and veterinary importance, has now been expanded to include this major urban centre. Phylogenies of the remaining five viruses, namely, Casuarina, Ngewotan, the novel Thogoto-like virus, and two new flavivirus species, suggested they are insect-specific viruses. None of these viruses have been previously associated with Ae. notoscriptus or been reported in Brisbane. These findings exemplify the rich genetic diversity and viral abundance within the Ae. notoscriptus virome and further highlight this species as a vector of concern with the potential to transmit viruses impacting human or animal health. Considering it is a common pest and vector in residential areas and is expanding its global distribution, ongoing surveillance, and ecological study of Ae. notoscriptus, together with mapping of its virome and phenotypic characterisation of isolated viruses, is clearly warranted. Immanently, these initiatives are essential for future understanding of both the mosquito virome and the evolution of individual viral species.
    Keywords:  Aedes notoscriptus; Stratford virus; arbovirus; flavivirus; metagenomics; thogotovirus
  15. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Oct 29. 14(1): 558
      BACKGROUND: Culex quinquefasciatus is not only a biting nuisance but also an important vector of fatal diseases. In Saudi Arabia, management measures to control this mosquito and thereby prevent associated disease transmission have focused on insecticides. Nevertheless, information on the resistance status of C. quinquefasciatus is insufficient, especially concerning insecticides containing novel classes of insecticides.METHODS: We evaluated six insecticides belonging to four classes of insecticides (insect growth regulators [3], avermectins [1], diamides [1] and spinosyns [1]) for toxicity and resistance in eight C. quinquefasciatus populations (from Ishbiliya, Al-Masfa, Al-Masanie, Al-Washlah, Al-Nakhil, Irqah, Al-Suwaidi and Al-Ghanemiya) following World Health Organisation protocols.
    RESULTS: Resistance status ranging from susceptibility/low resistance to high resistance, in comparison with the susceptible strain, was detected for cyromazine in the eight C. quinquefasciatus populations: Ishbiliya (resistance ratio [RR] = 3.33), Al-Masfa (RR = 4.33), Al-Masanie (RR = 3.67), Al-Washlah (RR = 2.33), Al-Nakhil (RR = 5.33), Irqah (RR = 7.00), Al-Suwaidi (RR = 21.33) and Al-Ghanemiya (RR = 16.00). All C. quinquefasciatus populations exhibited a high level of resistance to diflubenzuron (RR = 13.33-43.33), with the exception of Al-Nakhil which exhibited moderate resistance (RR = 10.00). Susceptibility/low resistance to high resistance was observed for triflumuron in the eight C. quinquefasciatus populations: Ishbiliya (RR = 0.50), Al-Ghanemiya (RR =  3.00), Al-Suwaidi (RR =  10.00), Al-Masfa (RR =  5.00), Al-Masanie (RR =  10.00), Al-Nakhil (RR =  5.00), Irqah (RR =  5.00) and Al-Washlah (RR =  15.00). Susceptibility/low resistance was assessed for abamectin, chlorantraniliprole and spinosad in all C. quinquefasciatus populations, with RR ranges of 0.25-3.50, 0.17-2.19, and 0.02-0.50, respectively. However, the population collected from Irqah showed high resistance to chlorantraniliprole (RR = 11.93).
    CONCLUSIONS: The detection of widespread resistance to insect growth regulators in C. quinquefasciatus highlights an urgent need to establish integrated vector management strategies. Our results may facilitate the selection of potent insecticides for integrated vector management programmes for C. quinquefasciatus.
    Keywords:  Biopesticides; Chlorantraniliprole; Diflubenzuron; Field-evolved-resistance; Insect vector management; Mosquitoes
  16. Infect Drug Resist. 2021 ;14 4291-4299
      Introduction: Flaviviruses are a genus of enveloped single-stranded RNA viruses that include dengue virus (DENV), yellow fever virus, West Nile virus (WNV), Japanese encephalitis virus, and Zika virus. Nowadays, diverse serological assays are available to diagnose flaviviruses. However, infection with flaviviruses induces cross-reactive antibodies, which are a challenge for serological diagnosis.Objective: This systematic review aimed to assess the magnitude of medically important mosquito-borne flavivirus-induced antibody cross-reactivity and its influence on serological test outcomes.
    Methods: This study was designed based on the PRISMA guidelines. It includes original research articles published between 1994 and 2019 that reported serological cross-reactions between medically important mosquito-borne flaviviruses. Articles were searched on PubMed using controlled vocabulary. Eligibility was assessed by title, abstract, and finally by reading the full paper. The articles included are compared, evaluated, and summarized narratively.
    Results: A total of 2,911 articles were identified, and finally 14 were included. About 15.4%-84% of antibodies produced against non-DENV flaviviruses were cross-reactive with DENV on different assays. Up to 30% IgM and up to 60% IgG antibodies produced against non-WNV flaviviruses were cross-reactive with WNV on EIA assays. The magnitude of antibodies produced against flaviviruses that are cross-reactive with chikungunya virus (Alphavirus) was minimal (only about 7%). The highest antibody cross-reactivity of flaviviruses was reported in IgG-based assays compared to IgM-based assays and assays based on E-specific immunoglobulin compared to NS1-specific immunoglobulin. It was found that preexisting immunity due to vaccination or prior flavivirus exposure to antigenetically related species enhanced the cross-reactive antibody titer.
    Conclusion: This review found the highest cross-reaction between DENV and non-DENV flaviviruses, especially yellow fever virus, and the least between chikungunya virus and DENV. Moreover, cross-reaction was higher on IgG assays than IgM ones and assays based on Eprotein compared to NS1protein. This implies that the reliability of serological test results in areas where more than one flavivirus exists is questionable. Therefore, interpretation of the existing serological assays should be undertaken with a great caution. Furthermore, research on novel diagnostic signatures for differential diagnosis of flaviviruses is needed.
    Keywords:  antibodies; cross-reaction; mosquito-borne flaviviruses; serological diagnosis
  17. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021 Oct 25. 15(10): e0009829
      The number of sporadic and epidemic dengue fever cases have reportedly been increasing in recent years in some West African countries, such as Senegal and Mali. The first epidemic of laboratory-confirmed dengue occurred in Nouakchott, the capital city of Mauritania situated in the Saharan desert, in 2014. On-site diagnosis of dengue fever was established using a rapid diagnostic test for dengue. In parallel, the presence of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the city was confirmed. The initial diagnosis was confirmed by RT-PCR, which showed that all samples from the 2014 dengue epidemic in Nouakchott were dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV-2). The whole genome or envelope protein gene of these strains, together with other DENV-2 strains obtained from travelers returning from West African countries to France between 2016 and 2019 (including two Mauritanian strains in 2017 and 2018), were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis suggested a recent emergence of an epidemic strain from the cosmopolitan genotype belonging to West African cosmopolitan lineage II, which is genetically distinct from African sylvatic genotype. The origin of this DENV-2 lineage is still unknown, but our data seem to suggest a recent and rapid dispersion of the epidemic strain throughout the region. More complete genome sequences of West African DENV-2 are required for a better understanding of the dynamics of its circulation. Arboviral surveillance and outbreak forecasting are urgently needed in West Africa.
  18. Ethiop J Health Sci. 2021 Jul;31(4): 731-742
      Background: Malaria is one of the most severe public health problems worldwide with 300 to 500 million cases and about one million deaths reported to date of which 90% were from world health organization (WHO) Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) countries. The purpose of this study was to explore the spatial distribution of malaria parasite prevalence (MPP) among districts of Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNRS) in Ethiopia by using 2011 malaria indicator survey (MIS) data collected for 76 districts and to model its relationship with different covariates.Method: Exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) was conducted followed by implementation of spatial lag model (SLM) and spatial error model (SEM) in GeoDa software. Queen contiguity second order type of spatial weight matrix was applied in order to formalize spatial interaction among districts.
    Results: From ESDA, we found positive spatial autocorrelation in malaria prevalence rate. Hot spot areas for MPP were found in the eastern and southeast parts of the region. Relying on specification diagnostics and measures of fit, SLM was found to be the best model for explaining the geographical variation of MPP. SLM analysis demonstrated that proportion of households living in earth/local dung plastered floor house, proportion of households living under thatched roof house, average number of rooms/person in a given district, proportion of households who used anti-malaria spray in the last 12 months before the survey, percentage household using mosquito nets and average number of mosquito nets/person in a given district have positive and statistically significant effect on spatial distribution of MPP across districts of SNNPRS. Percentage of households living without access to radio and television has negative and statistically significant effect on spatial distribution of MPP across districts of MPP.
    Conclusion: Malaria is spatially clustered in space. The implication of the spatial clustering is that, in cases where the decisions on how to allocate funds for interventions needs to have spatial dimension.
    Keywords:  Malaria Prevalence; Pathologic character; Spatial Dependency; Spatial Error Model; Spatial Lag Model
  19. Trop Med Infect Dis. 2021 Sep 30. pii: 180. [Epub ahead of print]6(4):
      Dengue is the most prevalent arthropod-borne viral disease worldwide and affects approximately 2.5 billion people living in over 100 countries. Increasing geographic expansion of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (which transmit the virus) has made dengue a global health concern. There are currently no approved antivirals available to treat dengue, and the only approved vaccine used in some countries is limited to seropositive patients. Treatment of dengue, therefore, remains largely supportive to date; hence, research efforts are being intensified for the development of antivirals. The nonstructural proteins, 3 and 5 (NS3 and NS5), have been the major targets for dengue antiviral development due to their indispensable enzymatic and biological functions in the viral replication process. NS5 is the largest and most conserved nonstructural protein encoded by flaviviruses. Its multifunctionality makes it an attractive target for antiviral development, but research efforts have, this far, not resulted in the successful development of an antiviral targeting NS5. Increase in structural insights into the dengue NS5 protein will accelerate drug discovery efforts focused on NS5 as an antiviral target. In this review, we will give an overview of the current state of therapeutic development, with a focus on NS5 as a therapeutic target against dengue.
    Keywords:  NS5; antiviral targets; dengue virus; flavivirus; non-nucleoside inhibitors; nucleoside inhibitors; polymerase