Mosquito-borne arboviruses are increasing due to human disturbances of natural ecosystems and globalization of trade and travel. These anthropic changes may affect mosquito communities by modulating ecological traits that influence the “spill-over” dynamics of zoonotic pathogens, especially at the interface between natural and human environments. Particularly, the global invasion of Aedes albopictus is observed not only across urban and peri-urban settings, but also in newly invaded areas in natural settings. This could foster the interaction of Ae. albopictus with wildlife, including local reservoirs of enzootic arboviruses, with implications for the potential zoonotic transfer of pathogens. To evaluate the potential of Ae. albopictus as a bridge vector of arboviruses between wildlife and humans, we performed a bibliographic search and analysis focusing on three components: (1) The capacity of Ae. albopictus to exploit natural larval breeding sites, (2) the blood-feeding behaviour of Ae. albopictus, and (3) Ae. albopictus’ vector competence for arboviruses. Our analysis confirms the potential of Ae. albopictus as a bridge vector based on its colonization of natural breeding sites in newly invaded areas, its opportunistic feeding behaviour together with the preference for human blood, and the competence to transmit 14 arboviruses.
BackgroundChikungunya virus (CHIKV) has dispersed in the Americas since 2013, and its range of distribution has overlapped large forested areas. Herein, we assess vector competence of two sylvatic Neotropical mosquito species, Haemagogus leucocelaenus and Aedes terrens, to evaluate the risk of CHIKV to initiate a sylvatic cycle in the continent.Methodology/Principal findingsHaemagogus leucocelaenus and Ae. terrens from the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were orally challenged with the two CHIKV lineages circulating in the Americas. Fully engorged females were kept in incubators at 28±1°C and 70±10% humidity and examined at 3 and 7 days after virus exposure. Body (thorax plus abdomen), head and saliva samples were analyzed for respectively determining infection, dissemination and transmission. Both Hg. leucocelaenus and Ae. terrens exhibited high infection and dissemination rates with both CHIKV isolates at 7 dpi, demonstrating that they are susceptible to CHIKV, regardless of the lineage. Remarkably, Hg. leucocelaenus expectorated infectious viral particles as rapidly as 3 days after the infectious blood meal, displaying higher values of transmission rate and efficiency than Ae. terrens. Nevertheless, both species were competent to experimentally transmit both CHIKV genotypes, exhibiting vector competence similar to several American Aedes aegypti.Conclusions/SignificanceThese results point out the high risk for CHIKV to establish a sylvatic transmission cycle in the Americas, which could be a serious health issue as CHIKV would become another zoonotic infection difficult to control in the continent.
Mosquitoes are vectors of arboviruses affecting animal and human health. Arboviruses circulate primarily within an enzootic cycle and recurrent spillovers contribute to the emergence of human-adapted viruses able to initiate an urban cycle involving anthropophilic mosquitoes. The increasing volume of travel and trade offers multiple opportunities for arbovirus introduction in new regions. This scenario has been exemplified recently with the Zika pandemic. To incriminate a mosquito as vector of a pathogen, several criteria are required such as the detection of natural infections in mosquitoes. In this study, we used a high-throughput chip based on the BioMark™ Dynamic arrays system capable of detecting 64 arboviruses in a single experiment. A total of 17,958 mosquitoes collected in Zika-endemic/epidemic countries (Brazil, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Suriname, Senegal, and Cambodia) were analyzed. Here we show that this new tool can detect endemic and epidemic viruses in different mosquito species in an epidemic context. Thus, this fast and low-cost method can be suggested as a novel epidemiological surveillance tool to identify circulating arboviruses.
Immatures of both Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus have been found in water-holding bromeliad axils in Brazil. Removal of these plants or their treatment with insecticides in public and private gardens have been undertaken during dengue outbreaks in Brazil despite uncertainty as to their importance as productive habitats for dengue vectors. From March 2005-February 2006, we sampled 120 randomly selected bromeliads belonging to 10 species in a public garden less than 200 m from houses in a dengue-endemic neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. A total of 2,816 mosquito larvae and pupae was collected, with an average of 5.87 immatures per plant per collection. Culex (Microculex) pleuristriatus and Culex spp of the Ocellatus Group were the most abundant culicid species, found in all species of bromeliads; next in relative abundance were species of the genus Wyeomyia. Only two individuals of Ae. aegypti (0.07%) and five of Ae. albopictus (0.18%) were collected from bromeliads. By contrast, immatures of Ae. aegypti were found in manmade containers in nearly 5% of nearby houses. These results demonstrate that bromeliads are not important producers of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus and, hence, should not be a focus for dengue control. However, the results of this study of only one year in a single area may not represent outcomes in other urban localities where bromeliads, Ae. aegypti and dengue coincide in more disturbed habitats.
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