Effects of larval exposure to sublethal doses of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis on body size, oviposition and survival of adult Anopheles coluzzii mosquitoes.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Application of the larvicide Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) is a viable complementary strategy for malaria control. Efficacy of Bti is dose-dependent. There is a knowledge gap on the effects of larval exposure to sublethal Bti doses on emerging adult mosquitoes. The present study examined the effect of larval exposure to sublethal doses of Bti on the survival, body size and oviposition rate in adult Anopheles coluzzii. METHODS:Third-instar An. coluzzii larvae were exposed to control and sublethal Bti concentrations at LC20, LC50 and LC70 for 48 h. Surviving larvae were reared to adults under standard colony conditions. Thirty randomly selected females from each treatment were placed in separate cages and allowed to blood feed. Twenty-five gravid females from the blood-feeding cages were randomly selected and transferred into new cages where they were provided with oviposition cups. Numbers of eggs laid in each cage and mortality of all adult mosquitoes were recorded daily. Wing lengths were measured of 570 mosquitoes as a proxy for body size. RESULTS:Exposure to LC70Bti doses for 48 h as third-instar larvae reduced longevity of adult An. coluzzii mosquitoes. Time to death was 2.58 times shorter in females exposed to LC70Bti when compared to the control females. Estimated mortality hazard rates were also higher in females exposed to the LC50 and LC20 treatments, but these differences were not statistically significant. The females exposed to LC70 concentrations had 12% longer wings than the control group (P < 0.01). No differences in oviposition rate of the gravid females were observed between the treatments. CONCLUSIONS:Exposure of An. coluzzii larvae to sublethal Bti doses reduces longevity of resultant adults and is associated with larger adult size and unclear effect on oviposition. These findings suggest that anopheline larval exposure to sublethal Bti doses, though not recommended, could reduce vectorial capacity for malaria vector populations by increasing mortality of resultant adults.
Project description:In the selection of oviposition sites female mosquitoes use various cues to assess site quality to optimize survival of progeny. The presence of conspecific larvae influences this process. Interactive effects of oviposition site selection were studied in the malaria mosquito Anopheles coluzzii Coetzee & Wilkerson in dual- and no-choice assays, by exposing single gravid mosquitoes to oviposition cups containing 1) larvae of different developmental stages, 2) larvae-conditioned water (LCW), and 3) cups where visual cues of conspecific larvae were absent. Early-stage conspecific larvae had a positive effect on the oviposition response. By contrast, late stages of conspecific larvae had a negative effect. Oviposition choice was dependent on larval density. Moreover, in oviposition cups where larvae were hidden from view, late-stage larvae had a significant negative effect on oviposition suggesting the involvement of olfactory cues. LCW had no effect on oviposition response, indicating involvement of chemicals produced by larvae in vivo. It is concluded that the presence of larvae in a breeding site affects the oviposition response depending on the development stage of the larvae. These responses appear to be mediated by olfactory cues emitted by the larval habitat containing live larvae, resulting in the enhanced reproductive fitness of the females.
Project description:Selection of oviposition sites by gravid females is a critical behavioral step in the reproductive cycle of Anopheles coluzzii, which is one of the principal Afrotropical malaria vector mosquitoes. Several studies suggest this decision is mediated by semiochemicals associated with potential oviposition sites. To better understand the chemosensory basis of this behavior and identify compounds that can modulate oviposition, we examined the generally held hypothesis that suboptimal larval habitats give rise to semiochemicals that negatively influence the oviposition preference of gravid females. Dual-choice bioassays indicated that oviposition sites conditioned in this manner do indeed foster significant and concentration dependent aversive effects on the oviposition site selection of gravid females. Headspace analyses derived from aversive habitats consistently noted the presence of dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), dimethyl trisulfide (DMTS) and 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one (sulcatone) each of which unitarily affected An. coluzzii oviposition preference. Electrophysiological assays across the antennae, maxillary palp, and labellum of gravid An. coluzzii revealed differential responses to these semiochemicals. Taken together, these findings validate the hypothesis in question and suggest that suboptimal environments for An. coluzzii larval development results in the release of DMDS, DMTS and sulcatone that impact the response valence of gravid females.
Project description:One of the strategies of integrated vector management is to lure gravid mosquitoes for surveillance purposes or to entice them to lay eggs in water containing toxins that kill the offspring (attract-and-kill or trap-and-kill). Typically, the major challenge of this approach is the development of a lure that stimulates oviposition plus a toxin with no deterrent effect. Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) satisfies the latter criterion, but lures for these autocidal gravid traps are sorely needed. We observed that gravid Aedes aegypti, Ae. albopictus, and Culex quinquefasciatus laid significantly more eggs in cups with extracts from 4th-stage larvae (4?L) of the same or different species. No activity was found when 4?L were extracted with hexane, diethyl ether, methanol, or butanol, but activity was observed with dimethyl sulfoxide extracts. Larval extracts contained both oviposition stimulant(s)/attractant(s) and deterrent(s), which partitioned in the water and hexane phases, respectively. Lyophilized larval extracts were active after a month, but activity was reduced by keeping the sample at 4?°C. In the tested range of 0.1 to 1 larvae-equivalent per milliliter, oviposition activity increased in a dose-dependent manner. In field experiments, Ae. aegpti laid significantly more eggs in traps loaded with larval extracts plus Bti than in control traps with water plus Bti.
Project description:The bird cherry-oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi (L.), is a major insect pest of cereal crops in many countries. Imidacloprid has been widely used for controlling piercing-sucking insect pests worldwide, but its sublethal effects on R. padi have not been well addressed. In this study, we investigated the sublethal effects of imidacloprid on biological parameters and five enzyme activities of R. padi. The LC10, LC20, and LC25 of imidacloprid to adult aphids were 0.0053, 0.0329 and 0.0659 mg L-1, respectively. These concentrations significantly decreased pre-adult survival rate, but prolonged the development duration of 1st instar nymphs, pre-oviposition period, and adult longevity. Adult oviposition period was also extended by LC20. The intrinsic rate of increase (r), net reproductive rate (R0), and finite rate (?) decreased at all three concentrations, whereas mean generation time (T) increased. Moreover, LC20 and LC25 significantly inhibited superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, but increased catalase (CAT) activity. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity also increased at LC20. However, cytochrome P450 enzyme and peroxidase (POD) activity did not differ between imidacloprid treatments and the control. In conclusion, the imidacloprid concentrations tested here have negative impacts on the performance of R. padi by reducing its nymphal survival, extending the development duration of some stages, decreasing the rate of population growth, and altering enzyme activities.
Project description:The oviposition behavior of mosquitoes is mediated by chemical cues. In the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae, conspecific larvae produce infochemicals that affect this behavior. Emanations from first instar larvae proved strongly attractive to gravid females, while those from fourth instars caused oviposition deterrence, suggesting that larval developmental stage affected the oviposition choice of the female mosquito.We examined the nature of these chemicals by headspace collection of emanations of water in which larvae of different stages were developing. Four chemicals with putative effects on oviposition behavior were identified: dimethyldisulfide (DMDS) and dimethyltrisulfide (DMTS) were identified in emanations from water containing fourth instars; nonane and 2,4-pentanedione (2,4-PD) were identified in emanations from water containing both first and fourth instars. Dual-choice oviposition studies with these compounds were done in the laboratory and in semi-field experiments in Tanzania.In the laboratory, DMDS and DMTS were associated with oviposition-deterrent effects, while results with nonane and 2,4-PD were inconclusive. In further studies DMDS and DMTS evoked egg retention, while with nonane and 2,4-PD 88% and 100% of female mosquitoes, respectively, laid eggs. In dual-choice semi-field trials DMDS and DMTS caused oviposition deterrence, while nonane and 2,4-PD evoked attraction, inducing females to lay more eggs in bowls containing these compounds compared to the controls. We conclude that oviposition of An. gambiae is mediated by these four infochemicals associated with conspecific larvae, eliciting either attraction or deterrence. High levels of egg retention occurred when females were exposed to chemicals associated with fourth instar larvae.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Strategies for combatting residual malaria by targeting vectors outdoors are gaining importance as the limitations of primary indoor interventions are reached. Strategies to target ovipositing females or her offspring are broadly applicable because all mosquitoes require aquatic habitats for immature development irrespective of their biting or resting preferences. Oviposition site selection by gravid females is frequently studied by counting early instar larvae in habitats; an approach which is valid only if the number of larvae correlates with the number of females laying eggs. This hypothesis was tested against the alternative, that a higher abundance of larvae results from improved survival of a similar or fewer number of families. METHODS:In a controlled experiment, 20 outdoor artificial ponds were left uncovered for 4 days to allow oviposition by wild mosquitoes, then covered with netting and first and second instar larvae sampled daily. Natural Anopheles habitats of two different types were also identified, and all visible larvae sampled. All larvae were identified to species, and most samples of the predominant species, Anopheles arabiensis, were genotyped using microsatellites for sibling group reconstructions using two contrasting softwares, BAPS and COLONY. RESULTS:In the ponds, the number of families reconstructed by each software significantly predicted larval abundance (BAPS R2 = 0.318, p = 0.01; COLONY R2 = 0.476, p = 0.001), and suggested that around 50% of females spread larvae across multiple ponds (skip oviposition). From natural habitats, the mean family size again predicted larval abundance using BAPS (R2 = 0.829, p = 0.017) though not using COLONY (R2 = 0.218, p = 0.68), but both softwares once more suggested high rates of skip oviposition (in excess of 50%). CONCLUSION:This study shows that, whether in closely-located artificial habitats or natural breeding sites, higher early instar larval densities result from more females laying eggs in these sites. These results provide empirical support for use of early instar larval abundance as an index for oviposition site preference. Furthermore, the sharing of habitats by multiple females and the high skip-oviposition rate in An. arabiensis suggest that larviciding by auto-dissemination of insecticide may be successful.
Project description:Anopheles gambiae coluzzii (An. coluzzii) uses olfaction to modulate a range of critical behaviors that are essential for survival and reproduction; most notably, host preference and selection underlie its vectorial capacity for human malaria. As is the case for all mosquitoes, An. coluzzii has three specialized peripheral olfactory appendages-the antennae, maxillary palps and labella-which are used to detect and orient in response to a large variety of olfactory cues. Of these, neither the molecular nor the physiological significance of the labellum have been thoroughly characterized despite suggestions that labial-derived odorant reception is critical for close-range host attraction. Here we report global chemoreceptor transcriptome profiles together with a systematic electrophysiological analysis of labial T2 sensilla, and associated behavioral responses of female An. coluzzii. Single sensillum recordings of the T2 sensilla revealed robust responses to odorants previously associated with human sweat and oviposition sites and identified a 10-component blend that elicited attraction in a dual-choice landing bioassay designed to mimic host seeking in which non-blood fed females were significantly more attracted to the labial-responsive odorant blend as compared to gravid females. Taken together, these data suggest that, in An. coluzzii, olfactory responses derived from the labellum contribute to host-seeking.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mosquitoes and other vectors are often exposed to sublethal doses of insecticides. Larvae can be exposed to the run-off of agricultural use, and adults can be irritated by insecticides used against them and move away before they have picked up a lethal dose. This sublethal exposure may affect the success of control of insect-borne diseases, for it may affect the competence of insects to transmit parasites, in particular if the insects are undernourished. METHODS:We assessed how exposure of larvae and adults to a sublethal dose of permethrin (a pyrethroid) and how larval competition for food affect several aspects of the vector competence of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae for the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. We infected mosquitoes with P. berghei and measured the longevity and the prevalence and intensity of infection to test for an effect of our treatments. RESULTS:Our general result was that the exposure to the insecticide helped mosquitoes deal with infection by malaria. Exposure of either larvae or adults decreased the likelihood that mosquitoes were infected by about 20%, but did not effect the parasite load. Exposure also increased the lifespan of infected mosquitoes, but only if they had been reared in competition. Larval competition had no effect on the prevalence of infection, but increased parasite load. These effects may be a consequence of the machinery governing oxidative stress, which underlies the responses of mosquitoes to insecticides, to food stress and to parasites. CONCLUSIONS:We conclude that insecticide residues are likely to affect the ability of mosquitoes to carry and transmit pathogens such as malaria, irrespective of the stage at which they are exposed to the insecticide. Our results stress the need for further studies to consider sublethal doses in the context of vector ecology and vector-borne disease epidemiology.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is the recommended treatment against uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infections, and ACT is widely used. It has been shown that gametocytes may be present after ACT and transmission to mosquitoes is still possible. Artemether-lumefantrine (AL) is a broadly used artemisinin-based combination medicine. Here, it is tested whether AL influences behaviour and fitness of Anopheles mosquitoes, which are the main vectors of P. falciparum. RESULTS:Dual-choice olfactometer and screenhouse experiments showed that skin odour of healthy human individuals obtained before, during and after AL-administration was equally attractive to Anopheles coluzzii and Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto, apart from a small (but significant) increase in mosquito response to skin odour collected 3 weeks after AL-administration. Anopheles coluzzii females fed on parasite-free blood supplemented with AL or on control-blood had similar survival, time until oviposition and number of eggs produced. CONCLUSIONS:Based on the results, AL does not appear to influence malaria transmission through modification of vector mosquito olfactory behaviour or fitness. Extending these studies to Plasmodium-infected individuals and malaria mosquitoes with parasites are needed to further support this conclusion.
Project description:Because no dengue vaccine or antiviral therapy is commercially available, controlling the primary mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, is currently the only means to prevent dengue outbreaks. Traditional models of Ae. aegypti assume that population dynamics are regulated by density-dependent larval competition for food and little affected by oviposition behavior. Due to direct impacts on offspring survival and development, however, mosquito choice in oviposition site can have important consequences for population regulation that should be taken into account when designing vector control programs.We examined oviposition patterns by Ae. aegypti among 591 naturally occurring containers and a set of experimental containers in Iquitos, Peru. Using larval starvation bioassays as an indirect measure of container food content, we assessed whether females select containers with the most food for their offspring. Our data indicate that choice of egg-laying site is influenced by conspecific larvae and pupae, container fill method, container size, lid, and sun exposure. Although larval food positively influenced oviposition, our results did not support the hypothesis that females act primarily to maximize food for larvae. Females were most strongly attracted to sites containing immature conspecifics, even when potential competitors for their progeny were present in abundance.Due to strong conspecific attraction, egg-laying behavior may contribute more to regulating Ae. aegypti populations than previously thought. If highly infested containers are targeted for removal or larvicide application, females that would have preferentially oviposited in those sites may instead distribute their eggs among other suitable, previously unoccupied containers. Strategies that kill mosquitoes late in their development (i.e., insect growth regulators that kill pupae rather than larvae) will enhance vector control by creating "egg sinks," treated sites that exploit conspecific attraction of ovipositing females, but reduce emergence of adult mosquitoes via density-dependent larval competition and late acting insecticide.