New Federal Report on Aedes Mosquitoes Could Signal Shift in How Zika Virus and Other Pathogens are Researched

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary carrier of the Zika virus. A new federal report offers new directions for research and development of mosquito-control efforts.

By Johanna Elsensohn Throughout the world, a single mosquito bite can have one of many consequences: mild infection, severe illness, birth defects, death, or, for the majority of people, just a small, itchy bite mark. Of the greater than 3,500 mosquito species out there, a small percentage have the ability to carry a pathogen that […]

Could a Large-Scale Zika Outbreak Occur in the United States?

water storage tanks

By Josh Lancette While recent news cycles in the United States largely have been dominated by election coverage, the threat of Zika remains a concern both locally and globally, with a recent outbreak in Brownsville, Texas, a study finding more than half of Brazilian women are avoiding pregnancy because of Zika, and the CDC sending […]

Cases of Dengue Drop 91 Percent Due to Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Aedes aegypti

By Richard Levine Once again, a technique that modifies insects in order to control their populations has been proven effective. RIDL, which stands for Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal, has been applied to diamondback moths, Mediterranean fruit flies, and olive flies, and it has been used in field trials on mosquitoes in order […]

Wolbachia Bacterium Prevents Mosquitoes from Transmitting Zika and Chikungunya

2006
Prof. Frank Hadley Collins, Dir., Cntr. for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Univ. of Notre Dame

This 2006 image depicted a female Aedes aegypti mosquito as she was obtaining a blood-meal from a human host through her fascicle, which had penetrated the host skin, was reddening in color, reflecting the blood’s coloration through this tubular structure. In this case, what would normally be an unsuspecting host was actually the CDC’s biomedical photographer’s own hand, which he’d offered to the hungry mosquito so that she’d alight, and be photographed while feeding. As it filled with blood, the abdomen became distended, stretched the exterior exoskeletal surface, causing it to become transparent, and allowed the collecting blood to become visible as an enlarging intra-abdominal red mass.

Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by urban Aedes mosquitos, principally A. aegypti, a species found living in close association with humans in most tropical urban areas. Mosquito biting activity is greatest in the morning for several hours after daybreak and in the late afternoon for several hours before dark. It may feed all day indoors, in shady areas, or when it is overcast. This mosquito breeds in artificial water containers, such as discarded tires, cans, barrels, buckets, 55 gallon drums, flower vases, and cisterns, all frequently found in the domestic environment. Since 1980, the incidence of dengue has increased dramatically in tropical countries worldwide, with endemic and/or epidemic virus transmission documented in most countries of the Caribbean Basin, Central and South America, the Pacific Islands, Asia, and Africa; many countries have had multiple outbreaks. Epidemics are frequently not reported because of inadequate disease surveillance.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have confirmed that a benign bacterium called Wolbachia pipientis can completely block transmission of Zika virus in Aedes aegypti, the mosquito species responsible for passing the virus to humans. Matthew Aliota, a first author of a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, says the bacteria could present a […]

Scientists Track Mosquitoes that Transmit Zika and Dengue by County

aedes-aegypti-CDC

By Harvey Black As mosquito-borne diseases that were once rare or unseen in the United States are making their presence known in the country, a team of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Colorado State University is calling for greater efforts to systematically map the presence of the vectors carrying these […]

Entomologists and Medical Experts Participate in Zika Symposium

mosquito-life-cycle

(This blog post contains excerpts from an article by Kathy Keatley Garvey.) On May 26, 2016 a symposium on Zika was held at the University of California, Davis. Speakers included entomologists, immunologists, infectious disease experts, epidemiologists, and other experts from the U.S. and Brazil. All of the presentations were videotaped and transcribed, and you can […]

GAT Mosquito Traps Can Be Effective Even without Pesticides

A male Aedes aegypti mosquito crawled in Dr. Grayson Brown's lab at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky.  The males do not bite and are identified by a larger, bushier antennal flagellum on their heads.

By Ed Ricciuti With Zika, dengue, and chikungunya spreading, and yellow fever re-emerging, health workers are ramping up surveillance of the ubiquitous Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries these arboviral diseases. Several types of traps and killing agents are available for collecting the insects, but there is a catch: the gear now employed is often too […]

New Trap Proves Effective Against the Mosquito that Transmits Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya

aedes-aegypti-larvae

By Harvey Black As concern and controversy swirl about the Zika virus, Argentinian researchers have developed a new trap that can be used to effectively monitor and control the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the primary transmitter of Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. The trap is described in the Journal of Medical Entomology. The […]

Education, Mosquito Management Programs, and Cooperation Needed to Stop Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya

2006
Prof. Frank Hadley Collins, Dir., Cntr. for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, Univ. of Notre Dame

This 2006 photograph depicted a female Aedes aegypti mosquito while she was in the process of acquiring a blood meal from her human host, who in this instance, was actually the biomedical photographer, James Gathany, here at the Centers for Disease Control.  The feeding apparatus consisting of a sharp, orange-colored “fascicle”, which while not feeding, is covered in a soft, pliant sheath called the "labellum”, which retracts as the sharp stylets contained within pierce the host's skin surface, as the insect obtains its blood meal. The orange color of the fascicle is due to the red color of the blood as it migrates up the thin, sharp translucent tube. Note the distended abdominal exoskeleton, which being translucent, allowed the color of the ingested blood meal to be visible.

DF and DHF are primarily diseases of tropical and sub-tropical areas, and the four different dengue serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4), are maintained in a cycle that involves humans and the Aedes mosquito. However, Aedes aegypti, a domestic, day-biting mosquito that prefers to feed on humans, is the most common Aedes species. Infections produce a spectrum of clinical illness ranging from a nonspecific viral syndrome to severe and fatal hemorrhagic disease. Important risk factors for DHF include the strain of the infecting virus, as well as the age, and especially the prior dengue infection history of the patient.

The Entomological Society of America (ESA) and Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil (SEB) held a Summit in Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil on 13 March, 2016 to discuss the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the primary transmitter of Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. While the Summit featured talks on many aspects of mosquito biology, behavior, and control, […]

A Report from the Summit on the Aedes aegypti Crisis in the Americas in Brazil

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary carrier of the Zika virus. A new federal report offers new directions for research and development of mosquito-control efforts.

By Richard Levine Yesterday, March 13, 2016, nearly 70 scientists, public-health officials and other participants attended the Summit on the Aedes aegypti Crisis in the Americas, a one-day meeting convened by the Entomological Society of America (ESA) and the Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil (SEB) in the city of Maceió in Alagoas, Brazil. Although the Summit […]