The body of knowledge built since the arrival of West Nile virus in the Americas in 1999 is now powering efforts to minimize its impact and prepare for the invasion of other mosquito-borne diseases. A new special collection in the Journal of Medical Entomology takes stock of lessons learned and progress made over the past 20 years of West Nile virus research, surveillance, and control.
A pilot program in a 150-acre zone in Miami in 2018 released as many as 375,000 Wolbachia-infected male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes per week for six months and succeeded in reducing the female Ae. aegypti population by more than 75 percent.
Public health officials could soon be able to detect viruses in mosquitoes in the wild much more quickly and easily—thanks to the insect equivalent of a urine test. A new study in Australia shows that two kinds of commonly used mosquito traps can be readily modified to collect mosquito excreta, or liquid waste droplets, to be tested for signs of viruses.
The mosquito species Toxorhynchites rutilus is harmless to humans but is a voracious predator of other mosquitoes. Researchers in Houston, Texas, are hoping the "mosquito assassin" could be put into action as a tool for controlling mosquitoes that carry human pathogens—if they can find an efficient way to raise the predator mosquitoes in the lab.
When their ranges overlap, two invasive mosquito species mate but produce no offspring, in an event known as satyrization. They can evolve quickly to learn to avoid each other, but that choosiness may cost the mosquitoes in other ways.