Complementarity of empirical and process-based approaches to modelling mosquito population dynamics with Aedes albopictus as an example-Application to the development of an operational mapping tool of vector populations.
ABSTRACT: Mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of major pathogens worldwide. Modelling their population dynamics and mapping their distribution can contribute effectively to disease surveillance and control systems. Two main approaches are classically used to understand and predict mosquito abundance in space and time, namely empirical (or statistical) and process-based models. In this work, we used both approaches to model the population dynamics in Reunion Island of the 'Tiger mosquito', Aedes albopictus, a vector of dengue and chikungunya viruses, using rainfall and temperature data. We aimed to i) evaluate and compare the two types of models, and ii) develop an operational tool that could be used by public health authorities and vector control services. Our results showed that Ae. albopictus dynamics in Reunion Island are driven by both rainfall and temperature with a non-linear relationship. The predictions of the two approaches were consistent with the observed abundances of Ae. albopictus aquatic stages. An operational tool with a user-friendly interface was developed, allowing the creation of maps of Ae. albopictus densities over the whole territory using meteorological data collected from a network of weather stations. It is now routinely used by the services in charge of vector control in Reunion Island.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that recently emerged in the South Pacific islands and Americas where unprecedented outbreaks were reported. Although Aedes aegypti is considered to be the main vector for ZIKV, other mosquito species have been shown to be potential vectors and differences in vector competence with respect to mosquito strain and ZIKV strain have been demonstrated. In this study we compared the vector competence of three mosquito species Aedes albopictus, Ae. aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus from Reunion Island for three ZIKV strains. METHODS:Five mosquito strains (2 strains of Ae. albopictus, 1 of Ae. aegypti and 2 of Cx. quinquefasciatus) were exposed to three ZIKV strains: one African strain (Dak84) and two Asian strains (PaRi_2015 and MAS66). The vector competence parameters (infection rate, dissemination efficiency and transmission efficiency) and viral loads were examined at 14 and 21 days post-infection. RESULTS:The two Cx. quinquefasciatus strains did not become infected and were therefore unable to either disseminate or transmit any of the three ZIKV strains. Aedes albopictus and Ae. aegypti strains were poorly competent for the two Asian ZIKV strains, while both mosquito species displayed higher infection rates, dissemination and transmission efficiencies for the African ZIKV Dak84 strain. However, this African ZIKV strain was better transmitted by Ae. aegypti as compared to Ae. albopictus. CONCLUSIONS:Our results show that both Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti, from Reunion Island, are more likely to be competent for ZIKV in contrast to Cx. quinquefasciatus which appeared refractory to all tested ZIKV strains. This improves our understanding of the role of mosquito species in the risk of the ZIKV emergence on Reunion Island.
Project description:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an emerging arbovirus associated with several recent large-scale epidemics. The 2005-2006 epidemic on Reunion island that resulted in approximately 266,000 human cases was associated with a strain of CHIKV with a mutation in the envelope protein gene (E1-A226V). To test the hypothesis that this mutation in the epidemic CHIKV (strain LR2006 OPY1) might influence fitness for different vector species, viral infectivity, dissemination, and transmission of CHIKV were compared in Aedes albopictus, the species implicated in the epidemic, and the recognized vector Ae. aegypti. Using viral infectious clones of the Reunion strain and a West African strain of CHIKV, into which either the E1-226 A or V mutation was engineered, we demonstrated that the E1-A226V mutation was directly responsible for a significant increase in CHIKV infectivity for Ae. albopictus, and led to more efficient viral dissemination into mosquito secondary organs and transmission to suckling mice. This mutation caused a marginal decrease in CHIKV Ae. aegypti midgut infectivity, had no effect on viral dissemination, and was associated with a slight increase in transmission by Ae. aegypti to suckling mice in competition experiments. The effect of the E1-A226V mutation on cholesterol dependence of CHIKV was also analyzed, revealing an association between cholesterol dependence and increased fitness of CHIKV in Ae. albopictus. Our observation that a single amino acid substitution can influence vector specificity provides a plausible explanation of how this mutant virus caused an epidemic in a region lacking the typical vector. This has important implications with respect to how viruses may establish a transmission cycle when introduced into a new area. Due to the widespread distribution of Ae. albopictus, this mutation increases the potential for CHIKV to permanently extend its range into Europe and the Americas.
Project description:Arbovirus vector dynamics and spread are influenced by climatic, environmental and geographic factors. Major Chikungunya and Dengue fever outbreaks occurring the last 10 years have coincided with the expansion of the mosquito vector Aedes albopictus to nearly all the continents. We characterized the ecological (larval development sites, population dynamics, insemination and daily survival rates) and genetic (diversity, gene flow, population structure) features of two Aedes albopictus populations from distinct environments (rural and urban) on Réunion Island, in the South-West Indian Ocean. Microsatellite analysis suggests population sub-structuring Ae. albopictus populations. Two genetic clusters were identified that were significantly linked to natural versus urban habitats with a mixed population in both areas. Ae. albopictus individuals prefer urban areas for mating and immature development, where hosts and containers that serve as larval development sites are readily available and support high population densities, whereas natural environments appear to serve as reservoirs for the mosquito.
Project description:Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans primarily via the bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The virus caused a major epidemic in the Indian Ocean in 2004, affecting millions of inhabitants, while cases have also been observed in Europe since 2007. We developed a stochastic spatiotemporal model of Aedes albopictus-borne chikungunya transmission based on our recently developed environmentally-driven vector population dynamics model. We designed an integrated modelling framework incorporating large-scale gridded climate datasets to investigate disease outbreaks on Reunion Island and in Italy. We performed Bayesian parameter inference on the surveillance data, and investigated the validity and applicability of the underlying biological assumptions. The model successfully represents the outbreak and measures of containment in Italy, suggesting wider applicability in Europe. In its current configuration, the model implies two different viral strains, thus two different outbreaks, for the two-stage Reunion Island epidemic. Characterisation of the posterior distributions indicates a possible relationship between the second larger outbreak on Reunion Island and the Italian outbreak. The model suggests that vector control measures, with different modes of operation, are most effective when applied in combination: adult vector intervention has a high impact but is short-lived, larval intervention has a low impact but is long-lasting, and quarantining infected territories, if applied strictly, is effective in preventing large epidemics. We present a novel approach in analysing chikungunya outbreaks globally using a single environmentally-driven mathematical model. Our study represents a significant step towards developing a globally applicable Ae. albopictus-borne chikungunya transmission model, and introduces a guideline for extending such models to other vector-borne diseases.
Project description:Chikungunya, a re-emerging arbovirus transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes, causes debilitating disease characterized by an acute febrile phase and chronic joint pain. Chikungunya has recently spread to the island of St. Martin and subsequently throughout the Americas. The disease is now affecting 42 countries and territories throughout the Americas. While chikungunya is mainly a tropical disease, the recent introduction and subsequent spread of Ae. albopictus into temperate regions has increased the threat of chikungunya outbreaks beyond the tropics. Given that there are currently no vaccines or treatments for chikungunya, vector control remains the primary measure to curtail transmission. To investigate the effectiveness of a containment strategy that combines disease surveillance, localized vector control and transmission reduction measures, we developed a model of chikungunya transmission dynamics within a large residential neighborhood, explicitly accounting for human and mosquito movement. Our findings indicate that prompt targeted vector control efforts combined with measures to reduce transmission from symptomatic cases to mosquitoes may be highly effective approaches for controlling outbreaks of chikungunya, provided that sufficient detection of chikungunya cases can be achieved.
Project description:BACKGROUND: First described in humans in 1964, reports of co-infections with dengue (DENV) and chikungunya (CHIKV) viruses are increasing, particularly after the emergence of chikungunya (CHIK) in the Indian Ocean in 2005-2006 due to a new variant highly transmitted by Aedes albopictus. In this geographic area, a dengue (DEN) outbreak transmitted by Ae. albopictus took place shortly before the emergence of CHIK and co-infections were reported in patients. A co-infection in humans can occur following the bite of two mosquitoes infected with one virus or to the bite of a mosquito infected with two viruses. Co-infections in mosquitoes have never been demonstrated in the field or in the laboratory. Thus, we question about the ability of a mosquito to deliver infectious particles of two different viruses through the female saliva. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We orally exposed Ae. albopictus from La Reunion Island with DENV-1 and CHIKV isolated respectively during the 2004-2005 and the 2005-2006 outbreaks on this same island. We were able to show that Ae. albopictus could disseminate both viruses and deliver both infectious viral particles concomitantly in its saliva. We also succeeded in inducing a secondary infection with CHIKV in mosquitoes previously inoculated with DENV-1. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In this study, we underline the ability of Ae. albopictus to be orally co-infected with two different arboviruses and furthermore, its capacity to deliver concomitantly infectious particles of CHIKV and DENV in saliva. This finding is of particular concern as Ae. albopictus is still expanding its geographical range in the tropical as well as in the temperate regions. Further studies are needed to try to elucidate the molecular/cellular basis of this phenomenon.
Project description:Hainan is a tropical island in southern China with abundant mosquito species, putting Hainan at risk of mosquito-borne virus disease outbreaks. The population genetic diversity of most mosquito species on Hainan Island remains elusive. In this study, we report the diversity of mosquito species and the genetic diversity of the predominant species on Hainan. Field populations of adults or larvae were collected from 12 regions of Hainan Island in 2018 and 2019. A fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (coxI) gene was sequenced from 1,228 mosquito samples and used for species identification and genetic diversity analysis. Twenty-three known mosquito species from the genera Aedes, Armigeres, Culex, Mansonia, and Anopheles and nine unconfirmed mosquito species were identified. Aedes albopictus, Armigeres subalbatus, and Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus were the most prevalent mosquito species on Hainan. The regions north of Danzhou, Tunchang, and Qionghai exhibited high mosquito diversity (26 species). The order of the total haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity of the populations from high to low was as follows: Culex tritaeniorhynchus, Ar. subalbatus, Culex pallidothorax, Culex gelidus, Ae. albopictus, and C. p. quinquefasciatus. Tajima's D and Fu's F s tests showed that Ae. albopictus, C. p. quinquefasciatus, C. tritaeniorhynchus, and C. gelidus had experienced population expansion, while the Ar. subalbatus and C. pallidothorax populations were in genetic equilibrium. Significant genetic differentiation existed in the overall populations of Ae. albopictus, Ar. subalbatus, C. p. quinquefasciatus, and C. pallidothorax. The Ae. albopictus populations on Hainan were characterized by frequent gene exchange with populations from Guangdong and four other tropical countries, raising the risk of viral disease outbreaks in these regions. Two subgroups were reported in the Ar. subalbatus populations for the first time. Our findings may have important implications for vector control on Hainan Island.
Project description:The mosquito microbiome alters the physiological traits of medically important mosquitoes, which can scale to impact how mosquito populations sustain disease transmission. The mosquito microbiome varies significantly within individual mosquitoes and among populations, however the ecological and environmental factors that contribute to this variation are poorly understood. To further understand the factors that influence variation and diversity of the mosquito microbiome, we conducted a survey of the bacterial microbiome in the medically important mosquito, Aedes albopictus, on the high Pacific island of Maui, Hawai'i. We detected three bacterial Phyla and twelve bacterial families: Proteobacteria, Acitinobacteria, and Firmicutes; and Anaplasmataceae, Acetobacteraceae, Enterobacteriaceae, Burkholderiaceae, Xanthobacteraceae, Pseudomonadaceae, Streptomycetaceae, Staphylococcaceae, Xanthomonadaceae, Beijerinckiaceae, Rhizobiaceae, and Sphingomonadaceae. The Ae. albopictus bacterial microbiota varied among geographic locations, but temperature and rainfall were uncorrelated with this spatial variation. Infection status with an ampicomplexan pathosymbiont Ascogregarina taiwanensis was significantly associated with the composition of the Ae. albopictus bacteriome. The bacteriomes of mosquitoes with an A. taiwanensis infection were more likely to include several bacterial symbionts, including the most abundant lineage of Wolbachia sp. Other symbionts like Asaia sp. and several Enterobacteriaceae lineages were less prevalent in A. taiwanensis-infected mosquitoes. This highlights the possibility that inter- and intra-domain interactions may structure the Ae. albopictus microbiome.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Climate change affects the survival and transmission of arthropod vectors as well as the development rates of vector-borne pathogens. Increased international travel is also an important factor in the spread of vector-borne diseases (VBDs) such as dengue, West Nile, yellow fever, chikungunya, and malaria. Dengue is the most important vector-borne viral disease. An estimated 2.5 billion people are at risk of infection in the world and there are approximately 50 million dengue infections and an estimated 500,000 individuals are hospitalized with dengue haemorrhagic fever annually. The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is one of the vectors of dengue virus, and populations already exist on Jeju Island, South Korea. Currently, colder winter temperatures kill off Asian tiger mosquito populations and there is no evidence of the mosquitos being vectors for the dengue virus in this location. However, dengue virus-bearing mosquito vectors can inflow to Jeju Island from endemic area such as Vietnam by increased international travel, and this mosquito vector's survival during colder winter months will likely occur due to the effects of climate change. METHODS AND RESULTS: In this section, we show the geographical distribution of medically important mosquito vectors such as Ae. albopictus, a vector of both dengue and chikungunya viruses; Culex pipiens, a vector of West Nile virus; and Anopheles sinensis, a vector of Plasmodium vivax, within Jeju Island, South Korea. We found a significant association between the mean temperature, amount of precipitation, and density of mosquitoes. The phylogenetic analyses show that an Ae. albopictus, collected in southern area of Jeju Island, was identical to specimens found in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, and not Nagasaki, Japan. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that mosquito vectors or virus-bearing vectors can transmit from epidemic regions of Southeast Asia to Jeju Island and can survive during colder winter months. Therefore, Jeju Island is no longer safe from vector borne diseases (VBDs) due to the effects of globalization and climate change, and we should immediately monitor regional climate change to identify newly emerging VBDs.
Project description:Mosquito-borne arboviruses are increasing due to human disturbances of natural ecosystems and globalization of trade and travel. These anthropic changes may affect mosquito communities by modulating ecological traits that influence the "spill-over" dynamics of zoonotic pathogens, especially at the interface between natural and human environments. Particularly, the global invasion of Aedes albopictus is observed not only across urban and peri-urban settings, but also in newly invaded areas in natural settings. This could foster the interaction of Ae. albopictus with wildlife, including local reservoirs of enzootic arboviruses, with implications for the potential zoonotic transfer of pathogens. To evaluate the potential of Ae. albopictus as a bridge vector of arboviruses between wildlife and humans, we performed a bibliographic search and analysis focusing on three components: (1) The capacity of Ae. albopictus to exploit natural larval breeding sites, (2) the blood-feeding behaviour of Ae. albopictus, and (3) Ae. albopictus' vector competence for arboviruses. Our analysis confirms the potential of Ae. albopictus as a bridge vector based on its colonization of natural breeding sites in newly invaded areas, its opportunistic feeding behaviour together with the preference for human blood, and the competence to transmit 14 arboviruses.