Analysis in a murine model points to IgG responses against the 34k2 salivary proteins from Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti as novel promising candidate markers of host exposure to Aedes mosquitoes.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Aedes mosquitoes are vectors of arboviral diseases of great relevance for public health. The recent outbreaks of dengue, Zika, chikungunya and the rapid worldwide spreading of Aedes albopictus emphasize the need for improvement of vector surveillance and control. Host antibody response to mosquito salivary antigens is emerging as a relevant additional tool to directly assess vector-host contact, monitor efficacy of control interventions and evaluate risk of arboviral transmission. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Groups of four BALB/c mice were immunized by exposure to bites of either Aedes albopictus or Aedes aegypti. The 34k2 salivary proteins from Ae. albopictus (al34k2) and Ae. aegypti (ae34k2) were expressed in recombinant form and Ae. albopictus salivary peptides were designed through B-cell epitopes prediction software. IgG responses to salivary gland extracts, peptides, al34k2 and ae34k2 were measured in exposed mice. Both al34k2 and ae34k2, with some individual and antigen-specific variation, elicited a clearly detectable antibody response in immunized mice. Remarkably, the two orthologous proteins showed very low level of immune cross-reactivity, suggesting they may eventually be developed as species-specific markers of host exposure. The al34k2 immunogenicity and the limited immune cross-reactivity to ae34k2 were confirmed in a single human donor hyperimmune to Ae. albopictus saliva. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Our study shows that exposure to bites of Ae. albopictus or Ae. aegypti evokes in mice species-specific IgG responses to al34k2 or ae34k2, respectively. Deeper understanding of duration of antibody response and validation in natural conditions of human exposure to Aedes mosquitoes are certainly needed. However, our findings point to the al34k2 salivary protein as a promising potential candidate for the development of immunoassays to evaluate human exposure to Ae. albopictus. This would be a step forward in the establishment of a serological toolbox for the simultaneous assessment of human exposure to Aedes vectors and the pathogens they transmit.
Project description:Mosquitoes of the Aedes genus transmit arboviruses of great importance to human health as dengue, chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever. The tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus can play an important role as arboviral vector, especially when Aedes aegypti is absent or present at low levels. Remarkably, the rapid worldwide spreading of the tiger mosquito is expanding the risk of arboviral transmission also to temperate areas, and the autochthonous cases of chikungunya, dengue and Zika in Europe emphasize the need for improved monitoring and control. Proteomic and transcriptomic studies on blood feeding arthropod salivary proteins paved the way toward the exploitation of genus-specific mosquito salivary proteins for the development of novel tools to evaluate human exposure to mosquito bites. We previously found that the culicine-specific 34k2 salivary protein from Ae. albopictus (al34k2) evokes specific IgG responses in experimentally exposed mice, and provided preliminary evidence of its immunogenicity to humans. In this study we measured IgG responses to al34k2 and to Ae. albopictus salivary gland protein extracts (SGE) in individuals naturally exposed to the tiger mosquito. Sera were collected in two areas of Northeast Italy (Padova and Belluno) during two different time periods: at the end of the low- and shortly after the high-density mosquito seasons. Anti-SGE and anti-al34k2 IgG levels increased after the summer period of exposure to mosquito bites and were higher in Padova as compared to Belluno. An age-dependent decrease of anti-saliva IgG responses was found especially in Padova, an area with at least 25 years history of Ae. albopictus colonization. Moreover, a weak correlation between anti-saliva IgG levels and individual perception of mosquito bites by study participants was found. Finally, determination of anti-al34k2 IgG1 and IgG4 levels indicated a large predominance of IgG1 antibodies. Overall, this study provides a convincing indication that antibody responses to al34k2 may be regarded as a reliable candidate marker to detect temporal and/or spatial variation of human exposure to Ae. albopictus; a serological tool of this kind may prove useful both for epidemiological studies and to estimate the effectiveness of anti-vectorial measures.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Aedes mosquitoes severely affect the health and wellbeing of human populations by transmitting infectious diseases. In French Polynesia, Aedes aegypti is the main vector of dengue, chikungunya and Zika, and Aedes polynesiensis the primary vector of Bancroftian filariasis and a secondary vector of arboviruses. Tools for assessing the risk of disease transmission or for measuring the efficacy of vector control programmes are scarce. A promising approach to quantify the human-vector contact relies on the detection and the quantification of antibodies directed against mosquito salivary proteins.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>An ELISA test was developed to detect and quantify the presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) directed against proteins from salivary gland extracts (SGE) of Ae. aegypti and Ae. polynesiensis in human populations exposed to either species, through a cross-sectional study. In Tahiti and Moorea islands where Ae. aegypti and Ae. polynesiensis are present, the test revealed that 98% and 68% of individuals have developed IgG directed against Ae. aegypti and Ae. polynesiensis SGE, respectively. By comparison, ELISA tests conducted on a cohort of people from metropolitan France, not exposed to these Aedes mosquitoes, indicated that 97% of individuals had no IgG directed against SGE of either mosquito species. The analysis of additional cohorts representing different entomological Aedes contexts showed no ELISA IgG cross-reactivity between Ae. aegypti and Ae. polynesiensis SGE.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>The IgG response to salivary gland extracts seems to be a valid and specific biomarker of human exposure to the bites of Ae. aegypti and Ae. polynesiensis. This new immuno-epidemiological tool will enhance our understanding of people exposure to mosquito bites, facilitate the identification of areas where disease transmission risk is high and permit to evaluate the efficacy of novel vector control strategies in Pacific islands and other tropical settings.
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:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) recently emerged as a global threat to public health through its adaptation to the cosmopolitan mosquito Aedes albopictus Skuse. Aedes albopictus is highly susceptible to the emergent strain of CHIKV, relative to the historical vector of CHIKV, Aedes aegypti (L.). We hypothesized that the high susceptibility of Ae. albopictus to CHIKV may have a cost in terms of longevity and fecundity among infected vs non-infected mosquitoes, relative to Ae. aegypti. We performed a longevity experiment comparing Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus exposed to the emergent strain of CHIKV (LR-2006OPY1). We found a small but significant decrease in longevity of Ae. albopictus, but not Ae. aegypti, in response to exposure to CHIKV. We did not observe significant differences in numbers of eggs laid by either species in response to exposure. Longevity and body titer of infected Ae. albopictus were significantly negatively correlated, such that individuals that lived longer had lower viral body titers when they died. The cost of exposure, while not high, suggests there may be physiological constraints in the evolution of viral infectiousness in its insect vector.
Project description:Background: The arbovirus vector, Aedes albopictus, originating from Asia, has recently invaded African countries, including the Republic of the Congo, where it was associated with a chikungunya outbreak. Up until now, little was known about its distribution in relation to the native Aedes aegypti and how the invasion will modify the epidemiology of arboviral diseases. Here, we assessed the current distribution of Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti in the Republic of the Congo and explored the genetic diversity of the invading species, Ae. albopictus. Methods: Immature stages of Aedes were collected in nine locations in the Republic of the Congo in 2017 following a north-south transect and reared to adult stage. Adults were morphologically identified, counted and grouped according to species and location. Genetic diversity of Ae. albopictus was assessed by analyzing the cytochrome oxidase I ( COI) gene. Results: Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti were found together across the country in all the locations investigated. The invasive species is predominant over the native species in all locations except Brazzaville, suggesting that Ae. albopictus is displacing Ae. aegypti across Congo. When comparing the species distributions across the two largest cities, Brazzaville and Pointe Noire, Ae. albopictus was more prevalent than Ae. aegypti in the suburbs whereas the opposite situation was reported in the city centre. Mitochondrial DNA analysis revealed very low genetic diversity of Ae. albopictus with only three haplotypes recorded across the country supporting the recent introduction of this species in the Republic of the Congo. Phylogenetic tree analysis revealed that Ae. albopictus from Congo originated from other tropical Asian countries such as China, likely as a result of increasing trade links. Conclusion: These findings are important for the implementation of vector control strategies and can serve as a foundation for further research on these vectors in the country.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a Flavivirus (Flaviviridae) transmitted to humans mainly by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti is the primary epidemic vector of ZIKV and Ae. albopictus, the secondary one. However, the epidemiological role of both Aedes species in Central Africa where Ae. albopictus was recently introduced is poorly characterized. Field-collected strains of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus from different ecological settings in Central Africa were experimentally infected with a ZIKV strain isolated in West Africa. Mosquitoes were analysed at 14- and 21-days post-exposure. Both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus were able to transmit ZIKV but with higher overall transmission efficiency for Ae. aegypti (57.9%) compared to Ae. albopictus (41.5%). In addition, disseminated infection and transmission rates for both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus varied significantly according to the location where they were sampled from. We conclude that both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus are able to transmit ZIKV and may intervene as active Zika vectors in Central Africa. These findings could contribute to a better understanding of the epidemiological transmission of ZIKV in Central Africa and develop suitable strategy to prevent major ZIKV outbreaks in this region.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Arboviral diseases including dengue are increasingly spreading in the tropical/subtropical world including Africa. Updated knowledge on the distribution and abundance of the major vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus constitutes crucial surveillance action to prepare African countries such as Cameroon for potential arbovirus outbreaks. Here, we present a nationwide survey in Cameroon to assess the current geographical distribution and prevalence of both vectors including a genetic diversity profiling of Ae. albopictus (invasive species) using mitochondrial DNA. METHODS:Immature stages of Aedes were collected between March and August 2017 in 29 localities across Cameroon following north-south and east-west transects. Larvae and pupae were collected from several containers in each location, reared to adult and morphologically identified. Genetic diversity of Ae. albopictus from 16 locations were analysed using Cytochrome Oxidase I gene (COI). RESULTS:In total, 30,381 immature stages of Aedes with an average of 646.40±414.21 per location were identified across the country comprising 69.3% of Ae. albopictus and 30.7% of Ae. aegypti. Analysis revealed that Ae. aegypti is still distributed nation widely whereas Ae. albopictus is limited to the southern part, around 6°4'N. However, Ae. albopictus is the most prevalent species in all southern locations where both species are sympatric except in Douala where Ae. aegypti is predominant. This suggests that factors such as climate, vegetation, and building density impact the distribution of both species in Cameroon. Mitochondrial DNA analysis revealed a low genetic diversity in Ae. albopictus populations with a major common haplotype resulting in low haplotype diversity ranging from 0.13 to 0.65 and 0.35 for the total sample. Similarly, low nucleotide diversity was also reported varying from 0.0000 to 0.0017 with an overall index of 0.0008. This low genetic polymorphism is consistent with the recent introduction of Ae. albopictus in Cameroon. CONCLUSION:This updated distribution of arbovirus vectors across Cameroon will help in planning vector control programme against possible outbreak of arbovirus related diseases in the country.
Project description:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a medically important mosquito-borne virus transmitted to humans by infected Aedes (Stegomyia) species. In 2013?2014, Ae. aegypti transmitted CHIKV to humans in the Caribbean and in 2005?2006, Ae. albopictus transmitted CHIKV on La Réunion Island (Indian Ocean basin). CHIKV LR2006 OPY1 from the La Réunion epidemic was associated with a mutation (E1:A226V) in the viral E1 glycoprotein that enhanced CHIKV transmission by Ae. albopictus. CHIKV R99659 from the Caribbean outbreak did not have the E1:A226V mutation. Here, we analyzed the salivary glands and saliva of Ae. albopictus strains from New Jersey, Florida, Louisiana and La Réunion after infection with each virus to determine their transmission potential. We infected the Ae. albopictus strains with blood meals containing 3?7 × 10? PFU/mL of each virus and analyzed the mosquitoes nine days later to maximize infection of their salivary glands. All four Ae. albopictus strains were highly susceptible to LR2006 OPY1 and R99659 viruses and their CHIKV disseminated infection rates (DIR) were statistically similar (p = 0.3916). The transmission efficiency rate (TER) was significantly lower for R99659 virus compared to LR2006 OPY1 virus in all Ae. albopictus strains and Ae. aegypti (Poza Rica) (p = 0.012) suggesting a salivary gland exit barrier to R99659 virus not seen with LR2006 OPY1 infections. If introduced, LR2006 OPY1 virus poses an increased risk of transmission by both Aedes species in the western hemisphere.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus are the primary vectors that transmit several arboviral diseases, including dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. The world is presently experiencing a series of outbreaks of these diseases, so, we still require to better understand the current distributions and possible future shifts of their vectors for successful surveillance and control programs. Few studies assessed the influences of climate change on the spatial distributional patterns and abundance of these important vectors, particularly using the most recent climatic scenarios. Here, we updated the current potential distributions of both vectors and assessed their distributional changes under future climate conditions. METHODS:We used ecological niche modeling approach to estimate the potential distributions of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus under present-day and future climate conditions. This approach fits ecological niche model from occurrence records of each species and environmental variables. For each species, future projections were based on climatic data from 9 general circulation models (GCMs) for each representative concentration pathway (RCP) in each time period, with a total of 72 combinations in four RCPs in 2050 and 2070. All ENMs were tested using the partial receiver operating characteristic (pROC) and a set of 2,048 and 2,003 additional independent records for Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, respectively. Finally, we used background similarity test to assess the similarity between the ENMs of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus. RESULTS:The predicted potential distribution of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus coincided with the current and historical known distributions of both species. Aedes aegypti showed a markedly broader distributional potential across tropical and subtropical regions than Ae. albopictus. Interestingly, Ae. albopictus was markedly broader in distributional potential across temperate Europe and the United States. All ecological niche models (ENMs) were statistically robust (P < 0.001). ENMs successfully anticipated 98% (1,999/2,048) and 99% (1,985/2,003) of additional independent records for both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, respectively (P < 0.001). ENMs based on future conditions showed similarity between the overall distributional patterns of future-day and present-day conditions; however, there was a northern range expansion in the continental USA to include parts of Southern Canada in case of Ae. albopictus in both 2050 and 2070. Future models also anticipated further expansion of Ae. albopictus to the East to include most of Europe in both time periods. Aedes aegypti was anticipated to expand to the South in East Australia in 2050 and 2070. The predictions showed differences in distributional potential of both species between diverse RCPs in 2050 and 2070. Finally, the background similarity test comparing the ENMs of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus was unable to reject the null hypothesis of niche similarity between both species (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION:These updated maps provided details to better guide surveillance and control programs of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus. They have also significant public health importance as a baseline for predicting the emergence of arboviral diseases transmitted by both vectors in new areas across the world.
Project description:The dramatic global expansion of Aedes albopictus in the last three decades has increased public health concern because it is a potential vector of numerous arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), including the most prevalent arboviral pathogen of humans, dengue virus (DENV). Ae. aegypti is considered the primary DENV vector and has repeatedly been incriminated as a driving force in dengue's worldwide emergence. What remains unresolved is the extent to which Ae. albopictus contributes to DENV transmission and whether an improved understanding of its vector status would enhance dengue surveillance and prevention. To assess the relative public health importance of Ae. albopictus for dengue, we carried out two complementary analyses. We reviewed its role in past dengue epidemics and compared its DENV vector competence with that of Ae. aegypti. Observations from "natural experiments" indicate that, despite seemingly favorable conditions, places where Ae. albopictus predominates over Ae. aegypti have never experienced a typical explosive dengue epidemic with severe cases of the disease. Results from a meta-analysis of experimental laboratory studies reveal that although Ae. albopictus is overall more susceptible to DENV midgut infection, rates of virus dissemination from the midgut to other tissues are significantly lower in Ae. albopictus than in Ae. aegypti. For both indices of vector competence, a few generations of mosquito colonization appear to result in a relative increase of Ae. albopictus susceptibility, which may have been a confounding factor in the literature. Our results lead to the conclusion that Ae. albopictus plays a relatively minor role compared to Ae. aegypti in DENV transmission, at least in part due to differences in host preferences and reduced vector competence. Recent examples of rapid arboviral adaptation to alternative mosquito vectors, however, call for cautious extrapolation of our conclusion. Vector status is a dynamic process that in the future could change in epidemiologically important ways.