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Concept: Asian tiger mosquito


Reducing the number of host-vector interactions is an effective way to reduce the spread of vector-borne diseases. Repellents are widely used to protect humans from a variety of protozoans, viruses, and nematodes. DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide), a safe and effective repellent, was developed during World War II. Fear of possible side effects of DEET has created a large market for “natural” DEET-free repellents with a variety of active ingredients. We present a comparative study on the efficacy of eight commercially available products, two fragrances, and a vitamin B patch. The products were tested using a human hand as attractant in a Y-tube olfactometer setup with Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse), both major human disease vectors. We found that Ae. albopictus were generally less attracted to the test subject’s hand compared with Ae, aegypti. Repellents with DEET as active ingredient had a prominent repellency effect over longer times and on both species. Repellents containing p-menthane-3,8-diol produced comparable results but for shorter time periods. Some of the DEET-free products containing citronella or geraniol did not have any significant repellency effect. Interestingly, the perfume we tested had a modest repellency effect early after application, and the vitamin B patch had no effect on either species. This study shows that the different active ingredients in commercially available mosquito repellent products are not equivalent in terms of duration and strength of repellency. Our results suggest that products containing DEET or p-menthane-3,8-diol have long-lasting repellent effects and therefore provide good protection from mosquito-borne diseases.

Concepts: Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes aegypti, Effectiveness, Dengue fever, DEET, Aedes, Insect repellent, Mosquito


An insect growth regulator, pyriproxyfen, has been used for the control of a range of pest insects, including mosquitoes. Pyriproxyfen is effective in inhibiting adult emergence and sterilizing adult females. The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse), is an important vector of dengue and chikungunya, and is expanding its distribution throughout Europe and the Americas. In the present study, we evaluated the impact of pyriproxyfen-treated bed nets on population growth of Ae. albopictus under semi-field conditions, using 6 small microcosms. We created microcosms containing breeding sites to simulate the natural ecosystem of vector mosquito and installing miniature bed net treated with 350 mg/m(2) pyriproxyfen in Experiment I and 35 mg/m(2) in Experiment II. For each experiment, we also established microcosms installing untreated polyethylene net (untreated control). The installing nets were provided with artificially torn holes, to simulate damage and allow mosquitoes to penetrate. We released 100 pairs of Ae. albopictus into each microcosm, and allowed them to feed on a mouse under the bed nets at approximately 1-week intervals. In comparison with the untreated control microcosms, the number of eggs laid by the released adults in the pyriproxyfen-treated microcosms was significantly lower in both Experiment I and II. Moreover, egg hatchability was significantly suppressed and pupal mortality was increased. Our results indicate that tarsal contact with pyriproxyfen has been shown to suppress egg production and hatchability in adult females and the auto-dissemination of pyriproxyfen into larval breeding sites by adult mosquitoes, through contact with pyriproxyfen-treated polyethylene bed nets, may suppress the mosquito population density.

Concepts: Malaria, Culicidae, Insect, Pest insects, Yellow fever, Aedes, Asian tiger mosquito, Mosquito


The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse), is an invasive species with substantial biting activity, high disease vector potential, and a global distribution that continues to expand. New Jersey, southern New York, and Pennsylvania are currently the northernmost boundary of established Ae. albopictus populations in the eastern United States. Using positive geographic locations from these areas, we modeled the potential future range expansion of Ae. albopictus in northeastern USA under two climate change scenarios. The land area with environmental conditions suitable for Ae. albopictus populations is expected to increase from the current 5% to 16% in the next two decades and to 43%-49% by the end of the century. Presently, about one-third of the total human population of 55 million in northeastern USA reside in urban areas where Ae. albopictus is present. This number is predicted to double to about 60% by the end of the century, encompassing all major urban centers and placing over 30 million people under the threat of dense Ae. albopictus infestations. This mosquito species presents unique challenges to public health agencies and has already strained the resources available to mosquito control programs within its current range. As it continues to expand into areas with fewer resources and limited organized mosquito control, these challenges will be further exacerbated. Anticipating areas of potential establishment, while planning ahead and gathering sufficient resources will be the key for successful public health campaigns. A broad effort in community sanitation and education at all levels of government and the private sector will be required until new control techniques are developed that can be applied efficiently and effectively at reasonable cost to very large areas.

Concepts: Pest insects, World population, Population, Frederick A. Askew Skuse, Culicidae, Aedes, Asian tiger mosquito, Mosquito


Chikungunya and dengue viruses emerged in Gabon in 2007, with large outbreaks primarily affecting the capital Libreville and several northern towns. Both viruses subsequently spread to the south-east of the country, with new outbreaks occurring in 2010. The mosquito species Aedes albopictus, that was known as a secondary vector for both viruses, recently invaded the country and was the primary vector involved in the Gabonese outbreaks. We conducted a retrospective study of human sera and mosquitoes collected in Gabon from 2007 to 2010, in order to identify other circulating arboviruses.

Concepts: Asian tiger mosquito, Yellow fever, Malaria, Africa, Dengue fever, Aedes aegypti, Aedes, Mosquito


Recent outbreaks of Zika, chikungunya and dengue highlight the importance of better understanding the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes across multiple spatio-temporal scales. Traditional surveillance tools are limited by jurisdictional boundaries and cost constraints. Here we show how a scalable citizen science system can solve this problem by combining citizen scientists' observations with expert validation and correcting for sampling effort. Our system provides accurate early warning information about the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) invasion in Spain, well beyond that available from traditional methods, and vital for public health services. It also provides estimates of tiger mosquito risk comparable to those from traditional methods but more directly related to the human-mosquito encounters that are relevant for epidemiological modelling and scalable enough to cover the entire country. These results illustrate how powerful public participation in science can be and suggest citizen science is positioned to revolutionize mosquito-borne disease surveillance worldwide.

Concepts: Dengue fever, Epidemiology, Pest insects, Aedes aegypti, Culicidae, Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes, Mosquito


Social, ecological, and climatic factors interact creating a heterogeneous matrix that determines the spatiotemporal distribution of mosquitoes and human risks of exposure to the diseases they transmit. We explore linkages between the social and institutional processes behind residential abandonment, urban ecology, and the interactions of socio-ecological processes with abiotic drivers of mosquito production. Specifically, we test the relative roles of infrastructure degradation and vegetation for explaining the presence of Aedes albopictus Skuse 1894 to better predict spatial heterogeneity in mosquito exposure risk within urban environments. We further examine how precipitation interacts with these socially underpinned biophysical variables. We use a hierarchical statistical modeling approach to assess how environmental and climatic conditions over 3 years influence mosquito ecology across a socioeconomic gradient in Baltimore, MD. We show that decaying infrastructure and vegetation are important determinants of Ae. albopictus infestation. We demonstrate that both precipitation and vegetation influence mosquito production in ways that are mediated by the level of infrastructural decay on a given block. Mosquitoes were more common on blocks with greater abandonment, but when precipitation was low, mosquitoes were more likely to be found in higher-income neighborhoods with managed container habitat. Likewise, although increased vegetation was a negative predictor of mosquito infestation, more vegetation on blocks with high abandonment was associated with the largest mosquito populations. These findings indicate that fine spatial scale modeling of mosquito habitat within urban areas is needed to more accurately target vector control.

Concepts: Fly, Yellow fever, Culicidae, Mosquito control, Aedes, Asian tiger mosquito, Mosquito


Zika virus (ZIKV) is a little known arbovirus until it caused a major outbreak in the Pacific Island of Yap in 2007. Although the virus has a wide geographic distribution, most of the known vectors are sylvatic Aedes mosquitoes from Africa where the virus was first isolated. Presently, Ae. aegypti is the only known vector to transmit the virus outside the African continent, though Ae. albopictus has long been a suspected vector. Currently, Ae. albopictus has been shown capable of transmitting more than 20 arboviruses and its notoriety as an important vector came to light during the recent chikungunya pandemic. The vulnerability of Singapore to emerging infectious arboviruses has stimulated our interest to determine the competence of local Ae. albopictus to transmit ZIKV.

Concepts: Malaria, Yellow fever, Dengue fever, Asian tiger mosquito, Mosquito, Africa, Aedes aegypti, Aedes


Attractive toxic sugar bait (active ingredient, 1 % boric acid) was evaluated against Aedes albopictus Skuse populations in the laboratory, semi-field trials, and field trials in residential communities in St. Augustine, Florida. Laboratory evaluations of boric acid sugar baits applied to the plant Pentas lanceolata (Rubiaceae) demonstrated 100 and 92 % mortality of A. albopictus at day 7 and 14, respectively. A semi-field study evaluating the bait application to the upperside or topside of leaves resulted in no significant difference on mortality (P > 0.05). Overall combined top and bottom boric acid sugar bait application mortality at day 7 was 95 % based on leaf bioassays. Field application of the boric acid sugar baits significantly (P < 0.05) decreased adult A. albopictus populations up to day 21 post-treatment compared to the pre-treatment population numbers. A significant reduction in oviposition was demonstrated both at day 7 and 14 post-application (P = 0.001) as monitored by ovitraps. Attractive toxic sugar bait application in tropical environments demonstrated efficacy, persistence, and feasibility in controlling A. albopictus populations.

Concepts: Culicidae, World population, Aedes, Population, Statistical significance, Evaluation, Asian tiger mosquito, Mosquito


The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse), transmits important arboviral diseases and displaces native species. This peridomestic mosquito deposits eggs in natural and artificial containers. Container larval habitats tend to be cryptic and, therefore, difficult to reach by conventional insecticide treatments. We have developed an autodissemination station that transfers the insect growth regulator, pyriproxyfen, from the station to oviposition sites. Mosquitoes visiting the station become contaminated with an oil sticker followed by pyriproxyfen powder before exiting.

Concepts: Larva, Pest insects, Frederick A. Askew Skuse, Insect, Culicidae, Aedes, Asian tiger mosquito, Mosquito


Dengue, chikungunya and zika viruses are pathogens with an increasing global impact. In the absence of an approved vaccine or therapy, their management relies on controlling the mosquito vectors. But traditional controls are inadequate, and the range of invasive species such as Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito) is expanding. Genetically modified mosquitoes are being tested, but their use has encountered regulatory barriers and public opposition in some countries. Wolbachia bacteria can cause a form of conditional sterility, which can provide an alternative to genetic modification or irradiation. It is unknown however, whether openly released, artificially infected male Ae. albopictus can competitively mate and sterilize females at a level adequate to suppress a field population. Also, the unintended establishment of Wolbachia at the introduction site could result from horizontal transmission or inadvertent female release. In 2014, an Experimental Use Permit from the United States Environmental Protection Agency approved a pilot field trial in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Here, we present data showing localized reduction of both egg hatch and adult female numbers. The artificial Wolbachia type was not observed to establish in the field. The results are discussed in relation to the applied use of Wolbachia-infected males as a biopesticide to suppress field populations of Ae. albopictus.

Concepts: Sex, Female, Male, Culicidae, Aedes aegypti, Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes, Mosquito