Peridomestic Aedes malayensis and Aedes albopictus are capable vectors of arboviruses in cities

Abstract : Background: Dengue and chikungunya are global re-emerging mosquito-borne diseases. In Singapore, sustained vector control coupled with household improvements reduced domestic mosquito populations for the past 45 years, particularly the primary vector Aedes aegypti. However, while disease incidence was low for the first 30 years following vector control implementation, outbreaks have re-emerged in the past 15 years. Epidemiological observations point to the importance of peridomestic infection in areas not targeted by control programs. We investigated the role of vectors in peri-domestic areas. Methods: We carried out entomological surveys to identify the Aedes species present in vegetated sites in highly populated areas and determine whether mosquitoes were present in open-air areas frequented by people. We compared vector competence of Aedes albopictus and Aedes malayensis with Ae. aegypti after oral infection with sympatric dengue serotype 2 and chikungunya viruses. Mosquito saliva was tested for the presence of infectious virus particles as a surrogate for transmission following oral infection. Results: We identified Aedes albopictus and Aedes malayensis throughout Singapore and quantified their presence in forested and opened grassy areas. Both Ae. albopictus and Ae. malayensis can occupy sylvatic niches and were highly susceptible to both arboviruses. A majority of saliva of infected Ae. malayensis contained infectious particles for both viruses. Conclusions:Our study reveals the prevalence of competent vectors in peri-domestic areas, including Ae. malayensis for which we established the vector status. Epidemics can be driven by infection foci, which are epidemiologically enhanced in the context of low herd immunity, selective pressure on arbovirus transmission and the presence of infectious asymptomatic persons, all these conditions being present in Singapore. Learning from Singapore’s vector control success that reduced domestic vector populations, but has not sustainably reduced arboviral incidence, we suggest including peri-domestic vectors in the scope of vector management.
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Ian Mendenhall, Menchie Manuel, Mahesh Moorthy, Theodore Lee, Dolyce Low, et al.. Peridomestic Aedes malayensis and Aedes albopictus are capable vectors of arboviruses in cities. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2017, 11 (6), pp.e0005667. ⟨10.1371/journal.pntd.0005667⟩. ⟨hal-02013524⟩

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