Lack of Evidence for Natural Wolbachia Infections in Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae).
ABSTRACT: Wolbachia is a genus of endosymbiotic bacteria that infects 66% of all insect species. Its major impact on insects is in reproduction: sterility, production of one sex, and/or parthenogenesis. Another effect was discovered when the disease-transmitting mosquito, Aedes aegypti Linnaeus (Diptera: Culicidae), was infected with Wolbachia isolated from Drosophila: infected female mosquitoes became less capable of transmitting diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya. This has led to releases of Ae. aegypti carrying Wolbachia in an attempt to control disease. An open question is whether there are natural Wolbachia infections of this mosquito. We assayed DNA from 2,663 Ae. aegypti from 27 countries on six continents, 230 from laboratory strains, and 72 Aedes mascarensis MacGregor (Diptera: Culicidae) for presence of Wolbachia DNA. Within the limits of our polymerase chain reaction-based assay, we found no evidence of Wolbachia, suggesting that natural infections of this endosymbiont are unlikely to occur throughout the worldwide distribution of Ae. aegypti.
Project description:The rapid expansion of Zika virus (ZIKV), following the recent outbreaks of Chikungunya virus, overwhelmed the public health infrastructure in many countries and alarmed many in the scientific community. Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) have previously been incriminated as the vectors of these pathogens in addition to dengue virus. In our study, we challenged low generation Ae. aegypti (Chiapas, Mexico) and Ae. albopictus (North Carolina, Mississippi), with three strains of ZIKV, Puerto Rico (GenBank: KU501215), Honduras (GenBank: KX694534), and Miami (GenBank: MF988743). Following an oral challenge with 107.5 PFU/ml of the Puerto Rico strain, we observed high infection and dissemination rates in both species (95%). We report estimated transmission rates for both species (74 and 33%, for Ae. aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) and Ae. albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae), respectively), and the presence of a probable salivary gland barrier in Ae. albopictus to Zika virus. Finally, we calculated vectorial capacity for both species and found that Ae. albopictus had a slightly lower vectorial capacity when compared with Ae. aegypti.Second Language Abstract: La rápida expansión del virus Zika, poco después de las epidemias de chikungunya, rebaso la infraestructura de salud pública en muchos países y sorprendió a muchos en la comunidad científica. Notablemente, Aedes aegypti y Aedes albopictus transmiten estos patógenos además del virus del dengue. En este estudio se expusieron con tres cepas americanas de virus Zika a grupos de Aedes aegypti y Aedes albopictus de generación reciente. Encontramos altos porcentajes de infección y diseminación en ambas especies (95%). Se reporta, la transmisión viral en ambas especies (74 y 33%, para Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, respectivamente) y una probable barrera a nivel de glándulas salivarías. Finalmente, calculamos la capacidad vectorial para ambas especies.
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:The bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia is a biocontrol tool that inhibits the ability of the Aedes aegypti mosquito to transmit positive-sense RNA viruses such as dengue and Zika. Growing evidence indicates that when Wolbachia strains wMel or wAlbB are introduced into local mosquito populations, human dengue incidence is reduced. Despite the success of this novel intervention, we still do not fully understand how Wolbachia protects mosquitoes from viral infection. Here, we demonstrate that the Wolbachia strain wPip does not inhibit virus infection in Ae. aegypti. We have leveraged this novel finding, and a panel of Ae. aegypti lines carrying virus-inhibitory (wMel and wAlbB) and non-inhibitory (wPip) strains in a common genetic background, to rigorously test a number of hypotheses about the mechanism of Wolbachia-mediated virus inhibition. We demonstrate that, contrary to previous suggestions, there is no association between a strain's ability to inhibit dengue infection in the mosquito and either its typical density in the midgut or salivary glands, or the degree to which it elevates innate immune response pathways in the mosquito. These findings, and the experimental platform provided by this panel of genetically comparable mosquito lines, clear the way for future investigations to define how Wolbachia prevents Ae. aegypti from transmitting viruses.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The evolutionary importance of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from Wolbachia endosymbiotic bacteria to their eukaryotic hosts is a topic of considerable interest and debate. Recent transfers of genome fragments from Wolbachia into insect chromosomes have been reported, but it has been argued that these fragments may be on an evolutionary trajectory to degradation and loss. RESULTS:We have discovered a case of HGT, involving two adjacent genes, between the genomes of Wolbachia and the currently Wolbachia-uninfected mosquito Aedes aegypti, an important human disease vector. The lower level of sequence identity between Wolbachia and insect, the transcription of all the genes involved, and the fact that we have identified homologs of the two genes in another Aedes species (Ae. mascarensis), suggest that these genes are being expressed after an extended evolutionary period since horizontal transfer, and therefore that the transfer has functional significance. The association of these genes with Wolbachia prophage regions also provides a mechanism for the transfer. CONCLUSION:The data support the argument that HGT between Wolbachia endosymbiotic bacteria and their hosts has produced evolutionary innovation.
Project description:With global expansion of the two main vectors of dengue, Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, Diptera: Culicidae) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse, Diptera: Culicidae), there is a need to further develop cost-effective and user-friendly surveillance tools to monitor the population dynamics of these species. The abundance of Ae. aegypti and Ae. Albopictus, and associated bycatch captured by Male Aedes Sound Traps (MASTs) and BG-Sentinel (BGS) traps that were unbaited or baited with BG-Lures were compared in Cairns, Australia and Madang, Papua New Guinea. Mean male Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus catch rates in MASTs did not significantly differ when deployed with BG-Lures. Similarly, males of both these species were not sampled at statistically different rates in BGS traps with or without BG-Lures. However, MASTs with BG-Lures caught significantly less male Ae. aegypti than BGS traps baited with BG-Lures in Cairns, and MASTs without BG-Lures caught significantly more male Ae. albopictus than BGS traps without BG-Lures in Madang. Additionally, BG-Lures significantly increased female Ae. aegypti catch rates in BGS traps in Cairns. Lastly, bycatch capture rates in BGS traps were not significantly influenced by the addition of the BG-Lures. While this study provides useful information regarding the surveillance of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in these locations, further development and investigation is required to successfully integrate an olfactory lure into the MAST system.
Project description:The invasive Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) was first reported in central Africa in 2000, in Cameroon, with the indigenous mosquito species Ae. aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae). Today, this invasive species is present in almost all countries of the region, including the Central African Republic (CAR), where it was first recorded in 2009. As invasive species of mosquitoes can affect the distribution of native species, resulting in new patterns of vectors and concomitant risk for disease, we undertook a comparative study early and late in the wet season in the capital and the main cities of CAR to document infestation and the ecological preferences of the two species. In addition, we determined the probable geographical origin of invasive populations of Ae. albopictus with two mitochondrial DNA genes, COI and ND5. Analysis revealed that Ae. aegypti was more abundant earlier in the wet season and Ae. albopictus in the late wet season. Used tyres were the most heavily colonized productive larval habitats for both species in both seasons. The invasive species Ae. albopictus predominated over the resident species at all sites in which the two species were sympatric. Mitochondrial DNA analysis revealed broad low genetic diversity, confirming recent introduction of Ae. albopictus in CAR. Phylogeographical analysis based on COI polymorphism indicated that the Ae. albopictus haplotype in the CAR population segregated into two lineages, suggesting multiple sources of Ae. albopictus. These data may have important implications for vector control strategies in central Africa.
Project description:Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) is a highly invasive mosquito whose global distribution has fluctuated dramatically over the last 100 years. In Australia the distribution of Ae. aegypti once spanned the eastern seaboard, for 3,000 km north to south. However, during the 1900s this distribution markedly reduced and the mosquito disappeared from its southern range. Numerous hypotheses have been proffered for this retraction, however quantitative evidence of the mechanisms driving the disappearance are lacking. We examine historical records during the period when Ae. aegypti disappeared from Brisbane, the largest population centre in Queensland, Australia. In particular, we focus on the targeted management of Ae. aegypti by government authorities, that led to local elimination, something rarely observed in large cities. Numerous factors are likely to be responsible including the removal of larval habitat, especially domestic rainwater tanks, in combination with increased mosquito surveillance and regulatory enforcement. This account of historical events as they pertain to the elimination of Ae. aegypti from Brisbane, will inform assessments of the risks posed by recent human responses to climate change and the reintroduction of 300,000 rainwater tanks into the State over the past decade.
Project description:Dengue is vector-borne diseases with 390 million infections per year extending over 120 countries of the world. <i>Aedes aegypti</i> (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) is a primary vector for dengue viral infections for humans. Current focus on application of natural product against mosquito vectors has been the main priority for research due to its eco-safety. The extensive use of chemical insecticides has led to severe health problems, environmental pollution, toxic hazards to human and nontarget species, and development of insecticide resistance on mosquitoes. <i>Azolla pinnata</i> is an aquatic fern and predominantly used as feed in poultry industry and as fertilizer in agricultural field for enhancing the fertility of rice paddy soil. The present study was conducted to explore the larvicidal efficacy of <i>A. pinnata</i> using fresh and powdered form against late third-stage larvae (6 days, 5 mm in larvae body length) of <i>Ae. aegypti</i> (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae). The larvicidal bioassays were performed using World Health Organization standard larval susceptibility test method for different concentration for powdered and fresh <i>A. pinnata.</i> Powdered <i>A. pinnata</i> concentration used during larvicidal bioassay ranges from 500ppm to 2000ppm; meanwhile, fresh <i>A. pinnata</i> ranges from 500ppm to 9,000,000 ppm. The highest mortality was at 1853 ppm for powdered <i>A. pinnata</i> compared with fresh <i>A. pinnata</i> at 2,521,535 ppm, while the LC<sub>50</sub> for both powdered and fresh <i>A. pinnata</i> recorded at 1262 ppm and 1853 ppm, respectively. Finally, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed significant difference on <i>Ae. aegypti</i> larval mortality (F=30.439, df=1, p?0.001) and concentration (F=20.002, df=1, p?0.001) compared to powdered and fresh <i>A. pinnata</i> at 24-hour bioassay test. In conclusion, the powdered <i>A. pinnata</i> serves as a good larvicidal agent against <i>Ae. aegypti</i> (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) and this study provided information on the lethal concentration that may have potential for a more eco-friendly <i>Aedes</i> mosquito control program.
Project description:Aedes aegypti is among the best-studied mosquitoes due to its critical role as a vector of human pathogens and ease of laboratory rearing. Until now, this species was thought to have originated in continental Africa, and subsequently colonized much of the world following the establishment of global trade routes. However, populations of this mosquito on the islands in the southwestern Indian Ocean (SWIO), where the species occurs with its nearest relatives referred to as the Aegypti Group, have received little study. We re-evaluated the evolutionary history of Ae. aegypti and these relatives, using three data sets: nucleotide sequence data, 18,489 SNPs and 12 microsatellites. We found that: (a) the Aegypti Group diverged 16 MYA (95% HPD: 7-28 MYA) from its nearest African/Asian ancestor; (b) SWIO populations of Ae. aegypti are basal to continental African populations; (c) after diverging 7 MYA (95% HPD: 4-15 MYA) from its nearest formally described relative (Ae. mascarensis), Ae. aegypti moved to continental Africa less than 85,000 years ago, where it recently (<1,000 years ago) split into two recognized subspecies Ae. aegypti formosus and a human commensal, Ae. aegypti aegypti; (d) the Madagascar samples form a clade more distant from all other Ae. aegypti than the named species Ae. mascarensis, implying that Madagascar may harbour a new cryptic species; and (e) there is evidence of introgression between Ae. mascarensis and Ae. aegypti on Réunion, and between the two subspecies elsewhere in the SWIO, a likely consequence of recent introductions of domestic Ae. aegypti aegypti from Asia.
Project description:The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis infects many species of insects and has been transinfected into the mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.), the primary vector of dengue virus (DENV). Recently, it has been shown that Wolbachia blocks the replication and transmission of RNA viruses, such as DENV, in a number of mosquito species including Ae. aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Skuse), which is naturally infected with Wolbachia and considered a secondary vector for DENV. The mosquito species Aedes notoscriptus (Skuse) is highly prevalent in Australia, including in areas where DENV outbreaks have been recorded. The mosquito has been implicated in the transmission of Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses, but not DENV. We investigated whether Wolbachia naturally infects this mosquito species and whether it has an impact on the ability of Ae. notoscriptus to transmit DENV. We show, for the first time, that Ae. notoscriptus is naturally infected with a strain of Wolbachia that belongs to supergroup B and is localized only in the ovaries. However, Wolbachia infection in Ae. notoscriptus did not induce resistance to DENV and had no effect on overall DENV infection rate or titer. The presence of a native Wolbachia in Ae. notoscriptus cannot explain why this mosquito is an ineffective vector of DENV.