Unraveling Host-Vector-Arbovirus Interactions by Two-Gene High Resolution Melting Mosquito Bloodmeal Analysis in a Kenyan Wildlife-Livestock Interface.
ABSTRACT: The blood-feeding patterns of mosquitoes are directly linked to the spread of pathogens that they transmit. Efficient identification of arthropod vector bloodmeal hosts can identify the diversity of vertebrate species potentially involved in disease transmission cycles. While molecular bloodmeal analyses rely on sequencing of cytochrome b (cyt b) or cytochrome oxidase 1 gene PCR products, recently developed bloodmeal host identification based on high resolution melting (HRM) analyses of cyt b PCR products is more cost-effective. To resolve the diverse vertebrate hosts that mosquitoes may potentially feed on in sub-Saharan Africa, we utilized HRM profiles of both cyt b and 16S ribosomal RNA genes. Among 445 blood-fed Aedeomyia, Aedes, Anopheles, Culex, Mansonia, and Mimomyia mosquitoes from Kenya's Lake Victoria and Lake Baringo regions where many mosquito-transmitted pathogens are endemic, we identified 33 bloodmeal hosts including humans, eight domestic animal species, six peridomestic animal species and 18 wildlife species. This resolution of vertebrate host species was only possible by comparing profiles of both cyt b and 16S markers, as melting profiles of some pairs of species were similar for either marker but not both. We identified mixed bloodmeals in a Culex pipiens from Mbita that had fed on a goat and a human and in two Mansonia africana mosquitoes from Baringo that each had fed on a rodent (Arvicanthis niloticus) in addition to a human or baboon. We further detected Sindbis and Bunyamwera viruses in blood-fed mosquito homogenates by Vero cell culture and RT-PCR in Culex, Aedeomyia, Anopheles and Mansonia mosquitoes from Baringo that had fed on humans and livestock. The observed mosquito feeding on both arbovirus amplifying hosts (including sheep and goats) and possible arbovirus reservoirs (birds, porcupine, baboons, rodents) informs arbovirus disease epidemiology and vector control strategies.
Project description:The transmission dynamics of many arboviruses in the Amazon Basin region have not been fully elucidated, including the vectors and natural reservoir hosts. Identification of blood meal sources in field-caught mosquitoes could yield information for identifying potential arbovirus vertebrate hosts. We identified blood meal sources in 131 mosquitoes collected from areas endemic for arboviruses in the Peruvian Department of Loreto by sequencing polymerase chain reaction amplicons of the cytochrome b gene. Psorophora (Janthinosoma) albigenu, Psorophora (Grabhamia) cingulata, Mansonia humeralis, Anopheles oswaldoi s.l., and Anopheles benarrochi s.l. had mainly anthropophilic feeding preferences; Aedes (Ochlerotatus) serratus, and Aedes (Ochlerotatus) fulvus had feeding preferences for peridomestic animals; and Culex (Melanoconion) spp. fed on a variety of vertebrates, mainly rodents (spiny rats), birds, and amphibians. On the basis of these feeding preferences, many mosquitoes could be considered as potential enzootic and bridge arbovirus vectors in the Amazon Basin of Peru.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Many arboviruses transmitted by mosquitoes have been implicated as causative agents of both human and animal illnesses in East Africa. Although epidemics of arboviral emerging infectious diseases have risen in frequency in recent years, the extent to which mosquitoes maintain pathogens in circulation during inter-epidemic periods is still poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate whether arboviruses may be maintained by vertical transmission via immature life stages of different mosquito vector species. METHODOLOGY:We collected immature mosquitoes (egg, larva, pupa) on the shores and islands of Lake Baringo and Lake Victoria in western Kenya and reared them to adults. Mosquito pools (?25 specimens/pool) of each species were screened for mosquito-borne viruses by high-resolution melting analysis and sequencing of multiplex PCR products of genus-specific primers (alphaviruses, flaviviruses, phleboviruses and Bunyamwera-group orthobunyaviruses). We further confirmed positive samples by culturing in baby hamster kidney and Aedes mosquito cell lines and re-sequencing. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Culex univittatus (2/31pools) and Anopheles gambiae (1/77 pools) from the Lake Victoria region were positive for Bunyamwera virus, a pathogenic virus that is of public health concern. In addition, Aedes aegypti (3/50), Aedes luteocephalus (3/13), Aedes spp. (2/15), and Culex pipiens (1/140) pools were positive for Aedes flaviviruses at Lake Victoria, whereas at Lake Baringo, three pools of An. gambiae mosquitoes were positive for Anopheles flavivirus. These insect-specific flaviviruses (ISFVs), which are presumably non-pathogenic to vertebrates, were found in known medically important arbovirus and malaria vectors. CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that not only ISFVs, but also a pathogenic arbovirus, are naturally maintained within mosquito populations by vertical transmission, even in the absence of vertebrate hosts. Therefore, virus and vector surveillance, even during inter-epidemics, and the study of vector-arbovirus-ISFV interactions, may aid in identifying arbovirus transmission risks, with the potential to inform control strategies that lead to disease prevention.
Project description:Blood-feeding patterns of mosquitoes affect the transmission and maintenance of arboviral diseases. In the Caribbean, Aedes aegypti (L.) and Culex quinquefasciatus Say mosquitoes are the dominant mosquito species in developed areas. However, no information is available on the bloodmeal hosts of these invasive vectors in Grenada, where arboviral pathogens such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses cause significant human suffering. To this end, Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes were investigated from five semirural locations near houses in St. George's Parish, from 2017 to 2018. Polymerase chain reaction was conducted on DNA extracted from individual blood-fed mosquitoes using vertebrate-specific cytochrome b primers. The 32 Ae. aegypti bloodmeals included humans (70%), mongooses (18%), domestic dogs (6%), a domestic cat (3%), and an unidentified bird (3%). Thirty-seven Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes took bloodmeals from seven species of birds (51%), humans (27%), domestic cats (8%), iguanas (5%), a domestic dog (3%), a rat (3%), and a common opossum (3%). The high percentage of human bloodmeal hosts in our study, especially by the normally anthropophilic Ae. aegypti, is expected. The bloodmeal sources and the percentage of nonhuman bloodmeals (30%) taken by Ae. aegypti are comparable to other studies. The large range of hosts may be explained in part by the semirural nature of most local housing. Accordingly, this may contribute to an exchange of pathogens between domestic, peridomestic, and sylvatic transmission cycles.
Project description:Landscape changes occurring in Panama, a country whose geographic location and climate have historically supported arbovirus transmission, prompted the hypothesis that arbovirus prevalence increases with degradation of tropical forest habitats. Investigations at four variably degraded sites revealed a diverse array of potential mosquito vectors, several of which are known vectors of arbovirus pathogens. Overall, 675 pools consisting of 25,787 mosquitoes and representing 29 species from nine genera (collected at ground and canopy height across all habitats) were screened for cytopathic viruses on Vero cells. We detected four isolates of Gamboa virus (family:Bunyaviridae; genus:Orthobunyavirus) from pools of Aedeomyia squamipennis captured at canopy level in November 2012. Phylogenetic characterization of complete genome sequences shows the new isolates to be closely related to each other with strong evidence of reassortment among the M segment of Panamanian Gamboa isolates and several other viruses of this group. At the site yielding viruses, Soberanía National Park in central Panama, 18 mosquito species were identified, and the predominant taxa included A. squamipennis,Coquillettidia nigricans, and Mansonia titillans.
Project description:Mosquitoes are a diverse group of invertebrates, with members that are among the most important vectors of diseases. The correct identification of mosquitoes is paramount to the control of the diseases that they transmit. However, morphological techniques depend on the quality of the specimen and often unavailable taxonomic expertise, which may still not be able to distinguish mosquitoes among species complexes (sibling and cryptic species). High resolution melting (HRM) analyses, a closed-tube, post-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method used to identify variations in nucleic acid sequences, has been used to differentiate species within the <i>Anopheles gambiae</i> and <i>Culex pipiens</i> complexes. We validated the use of PCR-HRM analyses to differentiate species within <i>Anopheles</i> and within each of six genera of culicine mosquitoes, comparing primers targeting cytochrome b ( <i>cyt b</i>), NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1), intergenic spacer region (IGS) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 ( <i>COI</i>) gene regions. HRM analyses of amplicons from all the six primer pairs successfully differentiated two or more mosquito species within one or more genera ( <i>Aedes</i> ( <i>Ae. vittatus</i> from <i>Ae. metallicus</i>), <i>Culex</i> ( <i>Cx. tenagius</i> from <i>Cx. antennatus</i>, <i>Cx. neavei</i> from <i>Cx. duttoni</i>, cryptic <i>Cx. pipiens</i> species), <i>Anopheles</i> ( <i>An. gambiae s.s.</i> from <i>An. arabiensis</i>) and <i>Mansonia</i> ( <i>Ma. africana</i> from <i>Ma. uniformis</i>)) based on their HRM profiles. However, PCR-HRM could not distinguish between species within <i>Aedeomyia</i> ( <i>Ad. africana</i> and <i>Ad. furfurea</i>), <i>Mimomyia</i> ( <i>Mi. hispida</i> and <i>Mi. splendens</i>) and <i>Coquillettidia</i> ( <i>Cq. aurites</i>, <i>Cq. chrysosoma</i>, <i>Cq. fuscopennata</i>, <i>Cq. metallica</i>, <i>Cq. microannulatus</i>, <i>Cq. pseudoconopas</i> and <i>Cq. versicolor</i>) genera using any of the primers. The IGS and COI barcode region primers gave the best and most definitive separation of mosquito species among anopheline and culicine mosquito genera, respectively, while the other markers may serve to confirm identifications of closely related sub-species. This approach can be employed for rapid identification of mosquitoes.
Project description:Wolbachia endosymbiotic bacteria are widespread throughout insect species and Wolbachia transinfected in Aedes mosquito species has formed the basis for biocontrol programs as Wolbachia strains inhibit arboviral replication and can spread through populations. Resident strains in wild Culicine mosquito populations (the vectors of most arboviruses) requires further investigation given resident strains can also affect arboviral transmission. As Madagascar has a large diversity of both Culicine species and has had recent arboviral outbreaks, an entomology survey was undertaken, in five ecologically diverse sites, to determine the Wolbachia prevalence. We detected diverse novel resident Wolbachia strains within the Aedeomyia, Culex, Ficalbia, Mansonia and Uranotaenia genera. Wolbachia prevalence rates and strain characterisation through Sanger sequencing with multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and phylogenetic analysis revealed significant diversity and we detected co-infections with the environmentally acquired bacteria Asaia. Mosquitoes were screened for major arboviruses to investigate if any evidence could be provided for their potential role in transmission and we report the presence of Rift Valley fever virus in three Culex species: Culex tritaeniorhynchus, Culex antennatus and Culex decens. The implications of the presence of resident Wolbachia strains are discussed and how the discovery of novel strains can be utilized for applications in the development of biocontrol strategies.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The range of vertebrate hosts on which species of mosquito blood-feed is an important parameter for identifying potential vectors and in assessing the risk of incursion and establishment of vector-borne pathogens. In the United Kingdom, studies of mosquito host range have collected relatively few specimens and used techniques that could only broadly identify host species. This study conducted intensive collection and analysis of mosquitoes from a grazing marsh environment in southeast England. This site provides extensive wetland habitat for resident and migratory birds and has abundant human nuisance biting mosquitoes. The aim was to identify the blood-feeding patterns of mosquito species present at the site which could contribute to the transmission of pathogens.<h4>Methods</h4>Twice-weekly collections of mosquitoes were made from Elmley Nature Reserve, Kent, between June and October 2014. Mosquitoes were collected using resting boxes, by aspiration from man-made structures and using a Mosquito Magnet Pro baited with 1-octen-3-ol. Blood-fed specimens were classified according to the degree of blood meal digestion using the Sella scale and vertebrate origin determined using sequencing of a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase subunit I gene. Mosquitoes that were morphologically cryptic were identified to species level using multiplex PCR and sequencing methods.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 20,666 mosquitoes of 11 species were collected, and 2,159 (10.4%) were blood-fed (Sella scale II-VI); of these 1,341 blood-fed specimens were selected for blood meal analysis. Vertebrate origin was successfully identified in 964 specimens (72%). Collections of blood-fed individuals were dominated by Anopheles maculipennis complex (73.5%), Culiseta annulata (21.2%) and Culex pipiens form pipiens (10.4%). Nineteen vertebrate hosts comprising five mammals and 14 birds were identified as hosts for mosquitoes, including two migratory bird species. Feeding on birds by Culex modestus and Anopheles atroparvus populations in England was demonstrated.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study expands the vertebrate host range of mosquitoes in the Thames estuary region of the UK. Feeding on both resident and migratory bird species by potential arbovirus vectors including Cx. pipiens f. pipiens and Cx. modestus indicates the potential for enzootic transmission of an introduced arbovirus between migratory and local bird species by native mosquito species.
Project description:Surveillance for blood-fed female mosquitoes was performed between August 2015 and February 2016 at sites along the periphery of the Aripo Savannas Environmentally Reserve (ASSR) located in northeastern Trinidad, West Indies. We collected engorged female mosquitoes representing 13 species. DNA extractions from dissected abdomens were subjected to PCR amplification with three primer pairs targeting the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I and cytochrome b gene sequences. High-quality sequence information and host identification were obtained for 42 specimens representing eight mosquito species with at least one primer combination. A broad range of vertebrates including humans were identified, but the majority were nonhuman mammals, both domestic and wild. Domestic dogs were the most common host and may represent potential sentinel species for monitoring local enzootic arbovirus activity in Trinidad. Culex declarator Dyer and Knab and Culex nigripalpus Theobald were the most common blood-fed mosquito species comprising 79.1% of the total number identified. These species obtained blood meals from birds, nonhuman mammals, and human hosts, and therefore pose significant risks as potential bridge vectors for epizootic arbovirus transmission in the ASSR area as well as other sylvan areas in Trinidad. These data represent the first such results for Trinidad.
Project description:Highly multiplexed assays, such as microarrays, can benefit arbovirus surveillance by allowing researchers to screen for hundreds of targets at once. We evaluated amplification strategies and the practicality of a portable DNA microarray platform to analyze virus-infected mosquitoes. The prototype microarray design used here targeted the non-structural protein 5, ribosomal RNA, and cytochrome b genes for the detection of flaviviruses, mosquitoes, and bloodmeals, respectively. We identified 13 of 14 flaviviruses from virus inoculated mosquitoes and cultured cells. Additionally, we differentiated between four mosquito genera and eight whole blood samples. The microarray platform was field evaluated in Thailand and successfully identified flaviviruses (Culex flavivirus, dengue-3, and Japanese encephalitis viruses), differentiated between mosquito genera (Aedes, Armigeres, Culex, and Mansonia), and detected mammalian bloodmeals (human and dog). We showed that the microarray platform and amplification strategies described here can be used to discern specific information on a wide variety of viruses and their vectors.
Project description:Haemosporidian parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus can have detrimental effects on individual birds and populations. Despite recent investigations into the distribution and richness of these parasites and their vertebrate hosts, little is known about their dipteran vectors. The Neotropics has the highest diversity of mosquitoes in the world, but few studies have tried to identify vectors in this area, hampering the understanding of the ecology of avian malaria in the highly diverse Neotropical environments.Shannon traps and active collection were used to capture 27,110 mosquitoes in a Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest in southeastern Brazil, a highly endangered ecosystem.We screened 17,619 mosquito abdomens from 12 different species and several unidentified specimens of Culex, grouped into 1,913 pools, for the presence of haemosporidians. Two pools (out of 459) of the mosquito Mansonia titillans and one pool (out of 29) of Mansonia pseudotitillans were positive for Plasmodium parasites, with the detection of a new parasite lineage in the former species. Detected Plasmodium lineages were distributed in three different clades within the phylogenetic tree revealing that Mansonia mosquitoes are potential vectors of genetically distant parasites. Two pools of Culex spp. (out of 43) were positive for Plasmodium gallinaceum and closely related lineages. We found a higher abundance of these putative vectors in pasture areas, but they were also distributed in areas at intermediate and late successional stages. One pool of the mosquito Psorophora discrucians (out of 173) was positive for Haemoproteus.The occurrence of different Plasmodium lineages in Mansonia mosquitoes indicates that this genus encompasses potential vectors of avian malaria parasites in Brazil, even though we did not find positive thoraces among the samples tested. Additional evidence is required to assign the role of Mansonia mosquitoes in avian malaria transmission and further studies will add information about evolutionary and ecological aspects of avian haemosporidia and untangle the diversity of their vectors in Brazil.