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Concept: Culicidae


Natural insecticides against the vector mosquito Aedes aegypti have been the object of research due to their high level of eco-safety. The water-soluble Moringa oleifera lectin (WSMoL) is a larvicidal agent against A. aegypti. This work reports the effects of WSMoL on oviposition and egg hatching of A. aegypti.

Concepts: Anopheles, Mosquito, Yellow fever, Aedes aegypti, Aedes, Dengue fever, Culicidae, Moringa oleifera


BACKGROUND: Aedes aegypti is the main vector of dengue, a disease that is increasing its geographical range as well as incidence rates. Despite its public health importance, the effect of dengue virus (DENV) on some mosquito traits remains unknown. Here, we investigated the impact of DENV-2 infection on the feeding behavior, survival, oviposition success and fecundity of Ae. aegypti females. METHODSPRINCIPAL FINDINGS: After orally-challenging Ae. aegypti females with a DENV-2 strain using a membrane feeder, we monitored the feeding behavior, survival, oviposition success and fecundity throughout the mosquito lifespan. We observed an age-dependent cost of DENV infection on mosquito feeding behavior and fecundity. Infected individuals took more time to ingest blood from anesthetized mice in the 2(nd) and 3(rd) weeks post-infection, and also longer overall blood-feeding times in the 3(rd) week post-infection, when females were around 20 days old. Often, infected Ae. aegypti females did not lay eggs and when they were laid, smaller number of eggs were laid compared to uninfected controls. A reduction in the number of eggs laid per female was evident starting on the 3(rd) week post-infection. DENV-2 negatively affected mosquito lifespan, since overall the longevity of infected females was halved compared to that of the uninfected control group. CONCLUSIONS: The DENV-2 strain tested significantly affected Ae. aegypti traits directly correlated with vectorial capacity or mosquito population density, such as feeding behavior, survival, fecundity and oviposition success. Infected mosquitoes spent more time ingesting blood, had reduced lifespan, laid eggs less frequently, and when they did lay eggs, the clutches were smaller than uninfected mosquitoes.

Concepts: Malaria, Mosquito, Yellow fever, Aedes aegypti, Aedes, Dengue fever, Culicidae


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


Several mosquito species are vectors of disease; however, to understand their role in disease transmission, accurate species identification is of particular importance. Morphological-based identification remains the main method, but molecular techniques have emerged as a tool for identification of closely related species. In this study, mosquitoes of the West Azerbaijan Province in Northwestern Iran were characterized based on their rDNA-ITS2 sequences. Nine populations of Six species of mosquitoes belonging to Anopheles, Culex, Culiseta and Ochlerotatus genera were studied. For the first time, the ITS2 sequences of Culiseta longiareolata and Culex hortensis are reported. In addition, ITS2 of Culex theileri and Ochlerotatus caspius are for the first time reported from Iran. phylogenetic analysis based on ITS2 fragment showed that both Subfamilies (Anophelinae and Culicinae) of this family (Culicidae) could be differentiated successfully, and also in Genus Anopheles, both the studied Subgenera (Anopheles and Cellia) were separated. About the divergence of differently studied Genera (Culex., Culiseta and Ochlerotatus), the analysis showed that Genera Culiseta, Ochlerotatus and Culex. have been diverged separately.

Concepts: Biology, Species, Anopheles, Mosquito, Order, Culicidae, Fly, Culiseta longiareolata


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


Mosquitoes occur almost worldwide, and females of some species feed on blood from humans and other animals to support ovum maturation. In warm and hot seasons, such as the summer in Japan, fed mosquitoes are often observed at crime scenes. The current study attempted to estimate the time that elapsed since feeding from the degree of human DNA digestion in mosquito blood meals and also to identify the individual human sources of the DNA using genotyping in two species of mosquito: Culex pipiens pallens and Aedes albopictus. After stereomicroscopic observation, the extracted DNA samples were quantified using a human DNA quantification and quality control kit and were genotyped for 15 short tandem repeats using a commercial multiplexing kit. It took about 3 days for the complete digestion of a blood meal, and genotyping was possible until 2 days post-feeding. The relative peak heights of the 15 STRs and DNA concentrations were useful for estimating the post-feeding time to approximately half a day between 0 and 2 days. Furthermore, the quantitative ratios derived from STR peak heights and the quality control kit (Q129/Q41, Q305/Q41, and Q305/Q129) were reasonably effective for estimating the approximate post-feeding time after 2-3 days. We suggest that this study may be very useful for estimating the time since a mosquito fed from blood meal DNA, although further refinements are necessary to estimate the times more accurately.

Concepts: DNA, Arthropod, Mosquito, Aedes, Approximation, Estimation, Culicidae, Short tandem repeat


Host-seeking behaviours in anopheline mosquitoes are time-of-day specific, with a greater propensity for nocturnal biting. We investigated how a short exposure to light presented during the night or late day can inhibit biting activity and modulate flight activity behaviour.

Concepts: Malaria, Anopheles, Mosquito, Yellow fever, Aedes aegypti, Culicidae, Vector, Anopheles gambiae


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


Human landing catch studies were conducted in a semi-field setting to determine the efficacy of seven commercial products used for personal protection against mosquitoes. Experiments were conducted in two empty, insecticide free, mesh-enclosed greenhouses, in Israel, with either 1500 Aedes albopictus or 1500 Culex pipiens released on consecutive study nights. The products tested in this study were the OFF!(®) Clip-On™ Mosquito Repellent (Metofluthrin 31.2%) and the Terminix(®) ALLCLEAR(®) Sidekick Mosquito Repeller (Cinnamon oil 10.5%; Eugenol 13%; Geranium oil 21%; Peppermint 5.3%; Lemongrass oil 2.6%), which are personal diffusers; Super Band™ Wristband (22% Citronella oil) and the PIC(®) Citronella Plus Wristband (Geraniol 15%; Lemongrass oil 5%, Citronella oil 1%); the Sonic Insect Repeller Keychain; the Mosquito Guard Patch (Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus 80mg), an adhesive-backed sticker for use on textiles; and the Mosquito Patch (vitamin B1 300mg), a transdermal patch. It was determined that the sticker, transdermal patch, wristbands and sonic device did not provide significant protection to volunteers compared with the mosquito attack rate on control volunteers who were not wearing a repellent device. The personal diffusers: - OFF!(®) Clip-On™ and Terminix(®) ALLCLEAR(®) Sidekick - provided superior protection compared with all other devices in this study. These diffusers reduced biting on the arms of volunteers by 96.28% and 95.26% respectively, for Ae. albopictus, and by 94.94% and 92.15% respectively, for Cx. pipiens. In a second trial conducted to compare these devices directly, biting was reduced by the OFF!(®) Clip-On™ and the Terminix(®) ALLCLEAR(®) by 87.55% and 92.83%, respectively, for Ae. albopictus, and by 97.22% and 94.14%, respectively, for Cx. pipiens. There was no significant difference between the performances of the two diffusers for each species.

Concepts: Mosquito, Cinnamon, Aedes, Culicidae, Insect repellent, Citronella oil, Citronellol, Cymbopogon


Dengue is the most important mosquito-borne viral disease. In the absence of specific drugs or vaccines, control focuses on suppressing the principal mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, yet current methods have not proven adequate to control the disease. New methods are therefore urgently needed, for example genetics-based sterile-male-release methods. However, this requires that lab-reared, modified mosquitoes be able to survive and disperse adequately in the field.

Concepts: Malaria, Mosquito, Yellow fever, Aedes aegypti, Aedes, Dengue fever, Field, Culicidae