bims-mosdis Biomed News
on Mosquito distribution and disease
Issue of 2022‒10‒16
sixteen papers selected by
Richard Halfpenny
Staffordshire University

  1. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Oct 05. pii: 11802. [Epub ahead of print]23(19):
      As part of our surveys of the invasive malaria vector Anopheles stephensi in four Sudanese states, including North and South Kordofan, Sennar, and White Nile, we collected 166 larvae. Our morphological identification confirmed that 30% of the collected mosquito samples were Anopheles species, namely An. gambiae s.l. and An. stephensi, while the 117 Aedes specimens were Ae. luteocephalus (39%), Ae. aegypti (32%), Ae. vexans (9%), Ae. vittatus (9%), Ae. africanus (6%), Ae. metalicus (3%), and Ae. albopictus (3%). Considering the serious threat of Ae. albopictus emergence for the public health in the area and our limited resources, we prioritized Ae. albopictus samples for further genomic analysis. We extracted the DNA from the three specimens and subsequently sequenced the cytochrome oxidase 1 (CO1) gene and confirmed their identity as Aedes albopictus and their potential origin by phylogenetic and haplotype analyses. Aedes albopictus, originating from Southeast Asia, is an invasive key vector of chikungunya and dengue. This is the first report and molecular characterization of Ae. albopictus from Sudan. Our sequences cluster with populations from the Central African Republic and La Réunion. Worryingly, this finding associates with a major increase in chikungunya and dengue outbreaks in rural areas of the study region and might be linked to the mosquito's spread across the region. The emergence of Ae. albopictus in Sudan is of serious public health concern and urges for the improvement of the vector surveillance and control system through the implementation of an integrated molecular xenosurveillance. The threat of major arboviral diseases in the region underlines the need for the institutionalization of the One Health strategy for the prevention and control of future pandemics.
    Keywords:  Aedes aegypti; Aedes africanus; Aedes luteocephalus; Aedes metalicus; Aedes vexans; Aedes vittatus; Anopheles stephensi; One Health; Sudan; arboviruses; haplotype analysis; invasive diseases vectors; phylogenetic analysis
  2. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2022 Oct;16(10): e0010786
      Biological control of mosquito vectors using the endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia is an emerging strategy for the management of human arboviral diseases. We recently described the development of a strain of Aedes aegypti infected with the Wolbachia strain wAlbB (referred to as the wAlbB2-F4 strain) through simple backcrossing of wild type Australian mosquitoes with a wAlbB infected Ae. aegypti strain from the USA. Field releases of male wAlbB2-F4 mosquitoes resulted in the successful suppression of wild populations of mosquitoes in the trial sites by exploiting the strain's Wolbachia-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility. We now demonstrate that the strain is resistant to infection by dengue and Zika viruses and is genetically similar to endemic Queensland populations. There was a fourfold reduction in the proportion of wAlbB2-F4 mosquitoes that became infected following a blood meal containing dengue 2 virus (16.7%) compared to wild type mosquitoes (69.2%) and a 6-7 fold reduction in the proportion of wAlbB2-F4 mosquitoes producing virus in saliva following a blood meal containing an epidemic strain of Zika virus (8.7% in comparison to 58.3% in wild type mosquitoes). Restriction-site Associated DNA (RAD) sequencing revealed that wAlbB2-F4 mosquitoes have > 98% Australian ancestry, confirming the successful introduction of the wAlbB2 infection into the Australian genomic background through backcrossing. Genotypic and phenotypic analyses showed the wAlbB2-F4 strain retains the insecticide susceptible phenotype and genotype of native Australian mosquitoes. We demonstrate that the Wolbachia wAlbB2-F4, in addition to being suitable for population suppression programs, can also be effective in population replacement programs given its inhibition of virus infection in mosquitoes. The ease at which a target mosquito population can be transfected with wAlbB2, while retaining the genotypes and phenotypes of the target population, shows the utility of this strain for controlling the Ae. aegypti mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit.
  3. BMC Public Health. 2022 10 12. 22(1): 1898
      BACKGROUND: In June 2019, surveillance data from the Uganda's District Health Information System revealed an outbreak of malaria in Kole District. Analysis revealed that cases had exceeded the outbreak threshold from January 2019. The Ministry of Health deployed our team to investigate the areas and people affected, identify risk factors for disease transmission, and recommend control and prevention measures.METHODS: We conducted an outbreak investigation involving a matched case-control study. We defined a confirmed case as a positive malaria test in a resident of Aboke, Akalo, Alito, and Bala sub-counties of Kole District January-June 2019. We identified cases by reviewing outpatient health records. Exposures were assessed in a 1:1 matched case-control study (n = 282) in Aboke sub-county. We selected cases systematically from 10 villages using probability proportionate to size and identified age- and village-matched controls. We conducted entomological and environmental assessments to identify mosquito breeding sites. We plotted epidemic curves and overlaid rainfall, and indoor residual spraying (IRS). Case-control exposures were combined into: breeding site near house, proximity to swamp and breeding site, and proximity to swamp; these were compared to no exposure in a logistic regression analysis.
    RESULTS: Of 18,737 confirmed case-patients (AR = 68/1,000), Aboke sub-county residents (AR = 180/1,000), children < 5 years (AR = 94/1,000), and females (AR = 90/1,000) were most affected. Longitudinal analysis of surveillance data showed decline in cases after an IRS campaign in 2017 but an increase after IRS cessation in 2018-2019. Overlay of rainfall and case data showed two malaria upsurges during 2019, occurring 35-42 days after rainfall increases. Among 141 case-patients and 141 controls, the combination of having mosquito breeding sites near the house and proximity to swamps increased the odds of malaria 6-fold (OR = 6.6, 95% CI = 2.24-19.7) compared to no exposures. Among 84 abandoned containers found near case-patients' and controls' houses, 14 (17%) had mosquito larvae. Adult Anopheles mosquitoes, larvae, pupae, and pupal exuviae were identified near affected houses.
    CONCLUSION: Stagnant water formed by increased rainfall likely provided increased breeding sites that drove this outbreak. Cessation of IRS preceded the malaria upsurges. We recommend re-introduction of IRS and removal of mosquito breeding sites in Kole District.
    Keywords:  IRS; Malaria; Outbreak; Stagnant water; Uganda
  4. Nat Ecol Evol. 2022 Oct 10.
      Data suggest that the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles coluzzii persists during the dry season in the Sahel through a dormancy mechanism known as aestivation; however, the contribution of aestivation compared with alternative strategies such as migration is unknown. Here we marked larval Anopheles mosquitoes in two Sahelian villages in Mali using deuterium (2H) to assess the contribution of aestivation to persistence of mosquitoes through the seven-month dry season. After an initial enrichment period, 33% of An. coluzzii mosquitoes were strongly marked. Seven months following enrichment, multiple analysis methods supported the ongoing presence of marked mosquitoes, compatible with the prediction that the fraction of marked mosquitoes should remain stable throughout the dry season if local aestivation is occurring. The results suggest that aestivation is a major persistence mechanism of An. coluzzii in the Sahel, contributing at least 20% of the adults at the onset of rains. This persistence strategy could influence mosquito control and malaria elimination campaigns.
  5. J Med Entomol. 2022 Oct 14. pii: tjac153. [Epub ahead of print]
      The yellow fever virus is estimated to cause 30,000 deaths each year worldwide, with the majority of cases and deaths occurring in Africa. The virus is also endemic to Central and South America, including northern and western Brazil. The sylvatic cycle of the virus is related to wild and rural areas, with nonhuman primates as the primary host and wild mosquitoes, specifically from the genera Haemagogus, as vectors. The diversity of the mosquito community plays a significant role in the increase of pathogen transmission to humans. In the present study, we detected fluctuation in populations of vector mosquitoes using ovitraps for Culicidae egg collection. The study area is a forest fragment of the Atlantic Forest, one of the most threatened biomes in Brazil. This biome has been suffering significant deforestation due to anthropic activity. Worryingly, the proximity of human populations to forest environments increases the risk of spreading disease from forest fragments to urban areas. Our findings showed that the highest egg abundance occurred in December 2019, with a significant difference (p = 0.005) between rainy and dry seasons. Most eggs were collected during the rainy period. Subsequent quantification of specimens from epidemiologically relevant species hatched from field-collected eggs resulted in 1,131 (86%) Haemagogus leucocelaenus (Dyar & Shannon, 1924), 111 (8%) Aedes terrens (Walker, 1856), 47 (4%) Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1894), and 21 (2%) Haemagogus janthinomys (Dyar, 1921). Finally, we assessed the behavior of different vector species performing oviposition on the same breeding site. The highest correlation coefficient was observed between Ae. albopictus and Ae. terrens (rho = 0.52) concerning other Culicidae species. Therefore, we believe that Culicidae population surveillance is crucial for disease monitoring since the increase in specimens of a number of vector species influences the emergence of yellow fever cases in nonhuman primates and human populations.
    Keywords:  Haemagogus leucocelaenus; correlation; rainy period; vector; yellow fever
  6. Trop Biomed. 2022 Sep 01. 39(3): 373-383
      Ae. aegypti is a dengue virus vector and a public health threat in Indonesia. Furthermore, the Dengue Haemoragic Fever (DHF) has spread to all cities in the country, including Bandar Lampung. A species distribution model, Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt), was used to predict the geographic distribution of this vector in three dengue-endemic areas, namely Sukarame, Kemiling, and Tanjung Seneng. Previously, surveillance was conducted to determine the presence of Ae. aegypti. Therefore, this study suggested that environmental variables such as rainfall, temperature, land cover, and population density have influenced the widespread of Ae. aegypti and facilitate its proliferation in the study areas. The influence of the environmental variables was analyzed using a response curve. The model performance was measured by percent contribution, the importance of permutations, and the jackknife test. This study's evaluation indicates that the certainty models for the presence of Ae. aegypti in Sukarame, Kemiling, and Tanjung Seneng were developed extremely well, with respective values of 0.989, 0.993, and 0.969. The results showed that Ae. aegypti is widespread in the three endemic areas. The high population density and land conversion into settlements are influential environmental variables essential in determining the distribution of the vector in three areas of Bandar Lampung. Climatic factors such as rainfall and temperature are supporting aspects in maintaining the habitat of Ae. aegypti in the area. Mapping areas at risk of this dengue vector can aid in planning disease management strategies and identifying priority locations for entomological surveys to control epidemics.
  7. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2022 Oct 10. 1-27
      Reports of West Nile virus (WNV) associated disease in humans were scarce in Spain until summer 2020, when 77 cases were reported, eight fatal. Most cases occurred next to the Guadalquivir River in the Sevillian villages of Puebla del Río and Coria del Río. Detection of WNV disease in humans was preceded by a large increase in the abundance of Culex perexiguus in the neighborhood of the villages where most human cases occurred. The first WNV infected mosquitoes were captured approximately one month before the detection of the first human cases. Overall, 33 positive pools of Cx. perexiguus and one pool of Culex pipiens were found. Serology of wild birds confirmed WNV circulation inside the affected villages, that transmission to humans also occurred in urban settings and suggests that virus circulation was geographically more widespread than disease cases in humans or horses may indicate. A high prevalence of antibodies was detected in blackbirds (Turdus merula) suggesting that this species played an important role in the amplification of WNV in urban areas. Culex perexiguus was the main vector of WNV among birds in natural and agricultural areas, while its role in urban areas needs to be investigated in more detail. Culex pipiens may have played some role as bridge vector of WNV between birds and humans once the enzootic transmission cycle driven by Cx. perexiguus occurred inside the villages. Surveillance of virus in mosquitoes has the potential to detect WNV well in advance of the first human cases.
    Keywords:  Culex; One Health; West Nile virus; Zoonoses; birds; epizootic transmission; flavivirus; mosquitoes; vector-borne diseases
  8. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2022 Oct 11. 107(4_Suppl): 33-39
      Malaria is the leading cause of disease burden in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2010, the East Africa International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research, also known as the Program for Resistance, Immunology, Surveillance, and Modeling of Malaria (PRISM), was established to provide a comprehensive approach to malaria surveillance in Uganda. We instituted cohort studies and a robust malaria and entomological surveillance network at selected public health facilities that have provided a platform for monitoring trends in malaria morbidity and mortality, tracking the impact of malaria control interventions (indoor residual spraying of insecticide [IRS], use of long-lasting insecticidal nets [LLINs], and case management with artemisinin-based combination therapies [ACTs]), as well as monitoring of antimalarial drug and insecticide resistance. PRISM studies have informed Uganda's malaria treatment policies, guided selection of LLINs for national distribution campaigns, and revealed widespread pyrethroid resistance, which led to changes in insecticides delivered through IRS. Our continuous engagement and interaction with policy makers at the Ugandan Ministry of Health have enabled PRISM to share evidence, best practices, and lessons learned with key malaria stakeholders, participate in malaria control program reviews, and contribute to malaria policy and national guidelines. Here, we present an overview of interactions between PRISM team members and Ugandan policy makers to demonstrate how PRISM's research has influenced malaria policy and control in Uganda.
  9. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2022 Oct 05. pii: S1477-8939(22)00216-2. [Epub ahead of print]50 102470
      BACKGROUND: Yellow fever virus is an arbovirus transmitted to humans by Aedes and Haemogogus mosquito species. To date, there is no specific treatment for yellow fever. However, an effective vaccine is available for the prevention. After a decline in yellow fever cases in Africa between 2004 and 2015, large-scale transmission of the virus was observed in Africa during 2019, with outbreaks recorded in West Africa. The objective of this study was to estimate the incidence of yellow fever cases recorded in the national reference laboratory of Togo from 2010 to 2020.METHOD: Data were extracted from the National Institute of Hygiene database from 2010 to 2020 with an Excel sheet and descriptive analyses were performed.
    RESULTS: A total of 4350 samples were collected between 2010 and 2020 in Togo from yellow fever suspected cases. These cases had a median age of 12 years (IQR: 5-24), and 21% of them were from the Maritime region. Among them, 30 cases were reported by national laboratory, with a global incidence of 0.7% (confidence interval 95%: [0.4-1.0]). At the yellow fever regional laboratory, 14 cases were confirmed with an incidence of 0.33% (confidence interval 95%: [0.18-0.55]). In this population, 37.7% had been immunized against yellow fever.
    CONCLUSION: This study shows that Togo presents cases of yellow fever. Identification of the vectors and implementation of efficient vector control measures could help prevent this disease, as well as other diseases transmitted by the same vectors. Yellow fever vaccination should be a priority in vaccination programs.
    Keywords:  Incidence; Togo; Vaccination; Yellow fever
  10. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2022 Oct 11. 107(4_Suppl): 68-74
    Southern and Central Africa International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research
      The International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR) were established by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases more than a decade ago to provide multidisciplinary research support to malaria control programs worldwide, operating in endemic areas and contributing technology, expertise, and ultimately policy guidance for malaria control and elimination. The Southern and Central Africa ICEMR has conducted research across three main sites in Zambia and Zimbabwe that differ in ecology, entomology, transmission intensity, and control strategies. Scientific findings led to new policies and action by the national malaria control programs and their partners in the selection of methods, materials, timing, and locations of case management and vector control. Malaria risk maps and predictive models of case detection furnished by the ICEMR informed malaria elimination programming in southern Zambia, and time series analyses of entomological and parasitological data motivated several major changes to indoor residual spray campaigns in northern Zambia. Along the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border, temporal and geospatial data are currently informing investigations into a recent resurgence of malaria. Other ICEMR findings pertaining to parasite and mosquito genetics, human behavior, and clinical epidemiology have similarly yielded immediate and long-term policy implications at each of the sites, often with generalizable conclusions. The ICEMR programs thereby provide rigorous scientific investigations and analyses to national control and elimination programs, without which the impediments to malaria control and their potential solutions would remain understudied.
  11. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2022 Oct 14.
      Aedes pertinax, a little-studied tropical mosquito that has found its way into the USA, has recently been discovered to have existed in the Florida Keys for almost 25 years. A 2021 collection of Ae. pertinax adult females in Key Largo, FL, sparked a retrospective search for stored specimens collected in 1998 on Big Pine Key, FL. Positive identification of the specimens from the 1998 collection confirmed the specimens to be Ae. pertinax, predating the first reported specimen in the USA by 13 years.
    Keywords:   Aedes pertinax ; Florida Keys; Monroe County; county record
  12. PLoS One. 2022 ;17(10): e0275825
      BACKGROUND: Malaria remains a public health challenge in endemic countries of the world. The use of Long-lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) is one of the major ways of malaria vector control. Recent evidence however suggests some LLINs are unable to maintain their effectiveness over their useful life span. This study assessed the bio-efficacy, physical integrity, use and attrition at 6 and 12-months post-distribution of LLINs (LifeNet).METHODS: Following a mass distribution of LLINs in the West Mamprusi District of the North-East region of Ghana in 2018, a total of 147 LLINs were sampled for physical integrity and attrition assessment using hole size and the number of holes as a measure of the proportionate hole index (pHI). Bioassays were conducted on sixty randomly selected LLINs using the WHO guidelines for bio-efficacy testing (cone tests), (20 each at baseline, midline and endline) over a one-year study period. Bed net ownership and use as well as malaria vector resistance status were also assessed.
    RESULTS: Findings indicate high bio-efficacy of approximately 100% average mortalities of mosquitoes at baseline, 6-months and 12-months post-distribution. A small proportion of LLINs (0.8% and 5.6% at the 6 and 12-months surveys respectively) were damaged beyond maintenance while 62.4% and 62.7% of LLINs were used the night before the survey for 6 and 12-months post-distribution respectively. Households with electricity were less likely to use LLINs compared to those without electricity (P-value = 0.016, OR = 0.39). There were 20 fewer LLINs recovered at the 12-months relative to the 6-months resulting in 14.3% attrition rate. Susceptibility testing showed high pyrethroid and organochlorine resistance (18%, 67.5% and 3.8%) to local malaria vectors respectively), whereas organophosphates and carbamates recorded vector susceptibility of 100% for pirimiphos-methyl and 98.7% for bendiocarb.
    CONCLUSION: Biological efficacy, physical integrity and net attrition during the study period were in conformity with respect to the WHOPES one year net use. LLINs remained effective after one-year of usage. Net ownership was high in the study households. There should be continuous and regular distribution campaigns to maintain high coverage.
  13. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2022 Oct 11. 107(4_Suppl): 131-137
      Gaining an in-depth understanding of malaria transmission requires integrated, multifaceted research approaches. The Asia-Pacific International Center of Excellence in Malaria Research (ICEMR) is applying specifically developed molecular and immunological assays, in-depth entomological assessments, and advanced statistical and mathematical modeling approaches to a rich series of longitudinal cohort and cross-sectional studies in Papua New Guinea and Cambodia. This is revealing both the essential contribution of forest-based transmission and the particular challenges posed by Plasmodium vivax to malaria elimination in Cambodia. In Papua New Guinea, these studies document the complex host-vector-parasite interactions that are underlying both the stunning reductions in malaria burden from 2006 to 2014 and the significant resurgence in transmission in 2016 to 2018. Here we describe the novel analytical, surveillance, molecular, and immunological tools that are being applied in our ongoing Asia-Pacific ICEMR research program.
  14. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2022 Oct 14. 38(4): 0
      Aedeomyia (Aedeomyia) squamipennis is a tropical mosquito that has only recently been observed in the USA. Its natural range of Central and South America has been expanded to several Caribbean islands and mainland Florida in recent years and has now been found in the Florida Keys. Despite its association with the Gamboa virus and avian malaria, concern for establishment and vectorial capacity is diminished in the Florida Keys due to Ae. squamipennis's lack of preferred larval habitat.
    Keywords:   Aedeomyia (Aedeomyia) squamipennis; Florida Keys; county record; genus record; species record
  15. PLoS One. 2022 ;17(10): e0275647
      Indonesia belongs to endemic areas of Japanese encephalitis (JE), yet data regarding the true risk of disease transmission are lacking. While many seroprevalence studies reported its classic enzootic transmission, data related to the role of bats in the transmission of JE virus are limited. This current study aimed to identify the potential role of bats in the local transmission of the JE virus to aid the ongoing active case surveillance in Indonesia, in order to estimate the transmission risk. Mosquitoes and bats were collected from 11 provinces in Indonesia. The detection of the JE virus used polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Maps were generated to analyze the JE virus distribution pattern. Logistic regression analysis was done to identify risk factors of JE virus transmission. JE virus was detected in 1.4% (7/483) of mosquito pools and in 2.0% (68/3,322) of bat samples. Mosquito species positive for JE virus were Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Cx. vishnui, whereas JE-positive bats belonged to the genera Cynopterus, Eonycteris, Hipposideros, Kerivoula, Macroglossus, Pipistrellus, Rousettus, Scotophilus and Thoopterus. JE-positive mosquitoes were collected at the same sites as the JE-positive bats. Collection site nearby human dwellings (AOR: 2.02; P = 0.009) and relative humidity of >80% (AOR: 2.40; P = 0.001) were identified as independent risk factors for JE virus transmission. The findings of the current study highlighted the likely ongoing risk of JE virus transmission in many provinces in Indonesia, and its potential implications on human health.
  16. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Oct 03. pii: 12665. [Epub ahead of print]19(19):
      Environmental changes are among the main factors that contribute to the emergence or re-emergence of viruses of public health importance. Here, we show the impact of environmental modifications on cases of infections by the dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses in humans in the state of Tocantins, Brazil, between the years 2010 and 2019. We conducted a descriptive and principal component analysis (PCA) to explore the main trends in environmental modifications and in the cases of human infections caused by these arboviruses in Tocantins. Our analysis demonstrated that the occurrence of El Niño, deforestation in the Cerrado and maximum temperatures had correlations with the cases of infections by the Zika virus between 2014 and 2016. El Niño, followed by La Niña, a gradual increase in precipitation and the maximum temperature observed between 2015 and 2017 were shown to have contributed to the infections by the chikungunya virus. La Niña and precipitation were associated with infections by the dengue virus between 2010 and 2012 and El Niño contributed to the 2019 outbreak observed within the state. By PCA, deforestation, temperatures and El Niño were the most important variables related to cases of dengue in humans. We conclude from this analysis that environmental changes (deforestation and climate change) presented a strong influence on the human infections caused by the dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses in Tocantins from 2010 to 2019.
    Keywords:  Brazil; arbovirus infections; environmental change; human