Scientists Track Mosquitoes that Transmit Zika and Dengue by County


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 […]

The Aedes aegypti Mosquito Was a Problem Way Before the Zika Virus


By Richard Levine Today I wrote a guest article for the Oxford University Press blog. What do Napoléon Bonaparte, Walter Reed, the Panama Canal, and the Zika virus all have in common? The answer is the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary vector of yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and the Zika virus. The ability to transmit […]

Zika Virus Genome Sequence Published by the Institut Pasteur


Described for the first time in Uganda in 1947, Zika is an arbovirus belonging to the same family as dengue and yellow fever. These viral diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes in the Aedes genus, like the yellowfever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). The first cases were confirmed in Brazil in […]

Higher Temperatures Impair Efficacy of Permethrin Insecticide


By Harvey Black The effectiveness of an important mosquito-fighting insecticide may be a casualty of global climate change, according to a recent study in the Journal of Medical Entomology. Two researchers from Montana State University, graduate student Shavonn Whiten and Dr. Robert Peterson, have shown that permethrin becomes less effective at killing the yellowfever mosquito […]

Mosquitoes Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Sort it Out Eventually


By Erin Weeks In the 1980s, public health officials and entomologists noticed a curious sea change in Florida. For centuries, the yellowfever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) had been one of the deadliest and most invasive disease transmitters in the United States. Borne by stowaway mosquitoes from Africa, yellow fever surged through eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American cities, […]

Why Fly When You Can Hitchhike? Mosquitoes Rely on Roads to Disperse


It’s only been about a year since the tropical disease chikungunya was first spotted in the Western Hemisphere. In December 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued a travel warning to the Caribbean after the disease had been found on the island of St. Martin. Since then, there have been more than a million […]

Mosquitoes “Smell” and “Taste” DEET and other Repellents


Mosquitoes not only have a sense of smell for certain insect repellents, but they also have a sense of taste for these chemicals, according to scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Joseph Dickens, an entomologist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, discovered for the first time that a taste receptor located on a […]

Public Health Authorities Began Preparing for Chikungunya Years Ago


This week is Mosquito Control Awareness Week, so it’s a good time to look at how the Pan American Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took a proactive approach to the coming threat of chikungunya virus. In December, 2013, the first case of “local” chikungunya transmission in the western hemisphere […]

Chikungunya Virus is Expected to Become Established in the U.S.


About six months ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued a travel warning for people visiting islands in the Caribbean because chikungunya virus had been detected on the island of St. Martin. This was the first time it had been detected in the Americas. Now, in addition to the islands, health authorities are preparing […]