Landscape structure affects distribution of potential disease vectors (Diptera: Culicidae).
ABSTRACT: Vector-pathogen dynamics are controlled by fluctuations of potential vector communities, such as the Culicidae. Assessment of mosquito community diversity and, in particular, identification of environmental parameters shaping these communities is therefore of key importance for the design of adequate surveillance approaches. In this study, we assess effects of climatic parameters and habitat structure on mosquito communities in eastern Austria to deliver these highly relevant baseline data.Female mosquitoes were sampled twice a month from April to October 2014 and 2015 at 35 permanent and 23 non-permanent trapping sites using carbon dioxide-baited traps. Differences in spatial and seasonal abundance patterns of Culicidae taxa were identified using likelihood ratio tests; possible effects of environmental parameters on seasonal and spatial mosquito distribution were analysed using multivariate statistical methods. We assessed community responses to environmental parameters based on 14-day-average values that affect ontogenesis.Altogether 29,734 female mosquitoes were collected, and 21 of 42 native as well as two of four non-native mosquito species were reconfirmed in eastern Austria. Statistical analyses revealed significant differences in mosquito abundance between sampling years and provinces. Incidence and abundance patterns were found to be linked to 14-day mean sunshine duration, humidity, water-level maxima and the amount of precipitation. However, land cover classes were found to be the most important factor, effectively assigning both indigenous and non-native mosquito species to various communities, which responded differentially to environmental variables.These findings thus underline the significance of non-climatic variables for future mosquito prediction models and the necessity to consider these in mosquito surveillance programmes.
Project description:Although mosquitoes are well-known vectors of human and animal diseases, pathogens are only minor components of their total endogenous microbial communities. The midguts of many insects, including mosquitoes, contain diverse microbial communities. In this study, we used denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis to identify the diversity of bacteria in field-collected adult female Culiseta melanura (Diptera: Culicidae) (Coquillett) and Coquillettidia perturbans (Diptera: Culicidae) (Walker). Few significant differences in bacterial fauna between the two mosquito species were found, but the results suggest that host life history may be a determinant of the endogenous bacterial communities in mosquitoes. In the present study, the dominant bacteria are frequently identified as major components of other mosquito species' microbial flora, suggesting the establishment of a stable association between the mosquitoes and the microbes after initial acquisition from the environment.
Project description:Field studies indicate adult mosquitoes (Culicidae) host low diversity communities of bacteria that vary greatly among individuals and species. In contrast, it remains unclear how adult mosquitoes acquire their microbiome, what influences community structure, and whether the microbiome is important for survival. Here, we used pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA to characterize the bacterial communities of three mosquito species reared under identical conditions. Two of these species, Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae, are anautogenous and must blood-feed to produce eggs, while one, Georgecraigius atropalpus, is autogenous and produces eggs without blood feeding. Each mosquito species contained a low diversity community comprised primarily of aerobic bacteria acquired from the aquatic habitat in which larvae developed. Our results suggested that the communities in Ae. aegypti and An. gambiae larvae share more similarities with one another than with G. atropalpus. Studies with Ae. aegypti also strongly suggested that adults transstadially acquired several members of the larval bacterial community, but only four genera of bacteria present in blood fed females were detected on eggs. Functional assays showed that axenic larvae of each species failed to develop beyond the first instar. Experiments with Ae. aegypti indicated several members of the microbial community and Escherichia coli successfully colonized axenic larvae and rescued development. Overall, our results provide new insights about the acquisition and structure of bacterial communities in mosquitoes. They also indicate that three mosquito species spanning the breadth of the Culicidae depend on their gut microbiome for development.
Project description:Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) have been shown to host diverse bacterial communities that vary depending on the sex of the mosquito, the developmental stage, and ecological factors. Some studies have suggested a potential role of microbiota in the nutritional, developmental and reproductive biology of mosquitoes. Here, we present a review of the diversity and functions of mosquito-associated bacteria across multiple variation factors, emphasizing recent findings. Mosquito microbiota is considered in the context of possible extended phenotypes conferred on the insect hosts that allow niche diversification and rapid adaptive evolution in other insects. These kinds of observations have prompted the recent development of new mosquito control methods based on the use of symbiotically-modified mosquitoes to interfere with pathogen transmission or reduce the host life span and reproduction. New opportunities for exploiting bacterial function for vector control are highlighted.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) originated in a sylvatic cycle of transmission between non-human animal hosts and vector mosquitoes in the forests of Africa. Subsequently the virus jumped out of this ancestral cycle into a human-endemic transmission cycle vectored by anthropophilic mosquitoes. Sylvatic CHIKV cycles persist in Africa and continue to spill over into humans, creating the potential for new CHIKV strains to enter human-endemic transmission. To mitigate such spillover, it is first necessary to delineate the distributions of the sylvatic mosquito vectors of CHIKV, to identify the environmental factors that shape these distributions, and to determine the association of mosquito presence with key drivers of virus spillover, including mosquito and CHIKV abundance. We therefore modeled the distribution of seven CHIKV mosquito vectors over two sequential rainy seasons in Kédougou, Senegal using Maxent. METHODS:Mosquito data were collected in fifty sites distributed in five land cover classes across the study area. Environmental data representing land cover, topographic, and climatic factors were included in the models. Models were compared and evaluated using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) statistics. The correlation of model outputs with abundance of individual mosquito species as well as CHIKV-positive mosquito pools was tested. RESULTS:Fourteen models were produced and evaluated; the environmental variables most strongly associated with mosquito distributions were distance to large patches of forest, landscape patch size, rainfall, and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Seven models were positively correlated with mosquito abundance and one (Aedes taylori) was consistently, positively correlated with CHIKV-positive mosquito pools. Eight models predicted high relative occurrence rates of mosquitoes near the villages of Tenkoto and Ngary, the areas with the highest frequency of CHIKV-positive mosquito pools. CONCLUSIONS:Of the environmental factors considered here, landscape fragmentation and configuration had the strongest influence on mosquito distributions. Of the mosquito species modeled, the distribution of Ae. taylori correlated most strongly with abundance of CHIKV, suggesting that presence of this species will be a useful predictor of sylvatic CHIKV presence.
Project description:The mosquitoes Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.)(Diptera:Culicidae) and Ae. (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera:Culicidae) transmit dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses and represent a growing public health threat in parts of the United States where they are established. To complement existing mosquito presence records based on discontinuous, non-systematic surveillance efforts, we developed county-scale environmental suitability maps for both species using maximum entropy modeling to fit climatic variables to county presence records from 1960-2016 in the contiguous United States. The predictive models for Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus had an overall accuracy of 0.84 and 0.85, respectively. Cumulative growing degree days (GDDs) during the winter months, an indicator of overall warmth, was the most important predictive variable for both species and was positively associated with environmental suitability. The number (percentage) of counties classified as environmentally suitable, based on models with 90 or 99% sensitivity, ranged from 1,443 (46%) to 2,209 (71%) for Ae. aegypti and from 1,726 (55%) to 2,329 (75%) for Ae. albopictus. Increasing model sensitivity results in more counties classified as suitable, at least for summer survival, from which there are no mosquito records. We anticipate that Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus will be found more commonly in counties classified as suitable based on the lower 90% sensitivity threshold compared with the higher 99% threshold. Counties predicted suitable with 90% sensitivity should therefore be a top priority for expanded mosquito surveillance efforts while still keeping in mind that Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus may be introduced, via accidental transport of eggs or immatures, and potentially proliferate during the warmest part of the year anywhere within the geographic areas delineated by the 99% sensitivity model.
Project description:Insect vectors, namely mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae), are compulsory for malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) to complete their life cycle. Despite this, little is known about vector competence of different mosquito species for the transmission of avian malaria parasites.In this study, nested PCR was used to determine Plasmodium spp. occurrence in pools of whole individuals, as well as the diversity of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences in wild-caught mosquitoes sampled across Eastern Austria in 2013-2015.A total of 45,749 mosquitoes in 2628 pools were collected, of which 169 pools (6.43%) comprising 9 mosquito species were positive for avian Plasmodium, with the majority of positives in mosquitoes of Culex pipiens s.l./Culex torrentium. Six different avian Plasmodium lineages were found, the most common were Plasmodium vaughani SYAT05, Plasmodium sp. Linn1 and Plasmodium relictum SGS1. In 2014, mosquitoes of the Culex pipiens complex were genetically identified and Culex pipiens f. pipiens presented with the highest number of avian Plasmodium positives (n = 37; 16.74%). Despite this, the minimum infection rate (MIR) was highest in Culex torrentium (5.36%) and Culex pipiens f. pipiens/f. molestus hybrids (5.26%). During 2014 and 2015, seasonal and annual changes in Plasmodium lineage distribution were also observed. In both years P. vaughani SYAT05 dominated at the beginning of the sampling period to be replaced later in the year by P. relictum SGS1 (2014) and Plasmodium sp. Linn1 (2015).This is the first large-scale study of avian Plasmodium parasites in Austrian mosquitoes. These results are of special interest, because molecular identification of the taxa of the Cx. pipiens complex and Cx. torrentium enabled the determination of Plasmodium prevalence in the different mosquito taxa and hybrids of this complex. Since pools of whole insects were used, it is not possible to assert any vector competence in any of the examined mosquitoes, but the results are nonetheless valuable in providing an overview of avian Plasmodium species and lineages present in Austria.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:A number of studies have been conducted on the relationship between the distribution of mosquito abundance and meteorological variables. However, few studies have specifically provided specific ranges of temperatures for estimating the maximum abundance of mosquitoes as an empirical basis for climatic dynamics for estimating mosquito-borne infectious disease risks. METHODS:Adult mosquitoes were collected for three consecutive nights/week using Mosquito Magnet® Independence® model traps during 2018 and 2019 at US Army Garrison (USAG) Humphreys, Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea (ROK). An estimate of daily mean temperatures (provided by the Korea Meteorological Administration) were distributed at the maximum abundance for selected species of mosquitoes using daily mosquito collection data after controlling for mosquito ecological cycles and environmental factors. RESULTS:Using the Monte-Carlo simulation, the overall mosquito population abundance peaked at 22.7°C (2.5th-97.5th: 21.7°C-23.8°C). Aedes albopictus, vector of Zika, chikungunya, dengue fever and other viruses, abundance peaked at 24.6°C (2.5th-97.5th, 22.3°C-25.6°C), while Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) vectors, e.g., Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Culex pipiens, peaked at 24.3°C (2.5th-97.5th: 21.9°C-26.3°C) and 22.6°C (2.5th-97.5th: 21.9°C-25.2°C), respectively. Members of the Anopheles Hyrcanus Group, some of which are vivax malaria vectors in the ROK, abundance peaked at 22.4°C (2.5th-97.5th: 21.5°C-23.8°C). CONCLUSION:The empirical mean temperature ranges for maximum abundance were determined for each mosquito species collected at USAG Humphreys. These data contributed to the identification of relative mosquito abundance patterns for estimating mosquito-borne disease risks and developing and implementing disease prevention practices.
Project description:The introduction of nonnative species and reductions in native biodiversity have resulted in substantial changes in vector and host communities globally, but the consequences for pathogen transmission are poorly understood. In lowland Hawaii, bird communities are composed of primarily introduced species, with scattered populations of abundant native species. We examined the influence of avian host community composition, specifically the role of native and introduced species, as well as host diversity, on the prevalence of avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) in the southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus). We also explored the reciprocal effect of malaria transmission on native host populations and demography. Avian malaria infection prevalence in mosquitoes increased with the density and relative abundance of native birds, as well as host community competence, but was uncorrelated with host diversity. Avian malaria transmission was estimated to reduce population growth rates of Hawai'i 'amakihi (Chlorodrepanis virens) by 7-14%, but mortality from malaria could not explain gaps in this species' distribution at our sites. Our results suggest that, in Hawaii, native host species increase pathogen transmission to mosquitoes, but introduced species can also support malaria transmission alone. The increase in pathogen transmission with native bird abundance leads to additional disease mortality in native birds, further increasing disease impacts in an ecological feedback cycle. In addition, vector abundance was higher at sites without native birds and this overwhelmed the effects of host community composition on transmission such that infected mosquito abundance was highest at sites without native birds. Higher disease risk at these sites due to higher vector abundance could inhibit recolonization and recovery of native species to these areas. More broadly, this work shows how differences in host competence for a pathogen among native and introduced taxa can influence transmission and highlights the need to examine this question in other systems to determine the generality of this result.
Project description:The bamboo mosquito, Tripteroides bambusa (Yamada) (Diptera: Culicidae), is a common insect across East Asia. Several studies have looked at the ecology of Tr. bambusa developmental stages separately, but little is known about the factors associated with the persistence (how often) and abundance (how many individuals) of Tr. bambusa stages simultaneously studied across a heterogeneous landscape. Here, we ask what environmental and landscape factors are associated with the persistence and abundance of Tr. bambusa stages across the altitudinal gradient of Mt. Konpira, Nagasaki City, Japan. During a season-long study we counted 8065 (7297 4th instar larvae, 670 pupae and 98 adults) Tr. bambusa mosquitoes. We found that persistence and abundance patterns were not associated among stages, with the exception of large (4th instar) and small (1st to 3rd instars) larvae persistence, which were positively correlated. We also found that relative humidity was associated with the persistence of Tr. bambusa aquatic stages, being positively associated with large and small larvae, but negatively with pupae. Similarly, landscape aspect changed from positive to negative the sign of its association with Tr. bambusa pupae and adults, highlighting that environmental associations change with life stage. Meanwhile, Tr. bambusa abundance patterns were negatively impacted by more variable microenvironments, as measured by the negative impacts of kurtosis and standard deviation (SD) of environmental variables, indicating Tr. bambusa thrives in stable environments, suggesting this mosquito species has a finely grained response to environmental changes.
Project description:Anthropogenic landscape transformation has an important effect on vector-borne pathogen transmission. However, the effects of urbanization on mosquito communities are still only poorly known. Here, we evaluate how land-use characteristics are related to the abundance and community composition of mosquitoes in an area with endemic circulation of numerous mosquito-borne pathogens. We collected 340 829 female mosquitoes belonging to 13 species at 45 localities spatially grouped in 15 trios formed by 1 urban, 1 rural and 1 natural area. Mosquito abundance and species richness were greater in natural and rural areas than in urban areas. Environmental factors including land use, vegetation and hydrological characteristics were related to mosquito abundance and community composition. Given the differing competences of each species in pathogen transmission, these results provide valuable information on the transmission potential of mosquito-borne pathogens that will be of great use in public and animal health management by allowing, for instance, the identification of the priority areas for pathogen surveillance and vector control.