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Review

Invasive Alien Plants in Africa and the Potential Emergence of Mosquito-Borne Arboviral Diseases—A Review and Research Outlook

1
Centre for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Genscheralle 3, 53113 Bonn, Germany
2
International Livestock Research Institute, Old Naivasha Road, P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
3
Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES), Department of Plant Nutrition, University of Bonn, Karlrobert-Kreiten-Strasse 13, 53115 Bonn, Germany
4
Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Leahurst Campus, Chester High Road, Neston CH64 7TE, UK
5
Institute of Virology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Free University Berlin, Humboldt-University Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, 10117 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Remi N. Charrel
Viruses 2021, 13(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010032
Received: 30 November 2020 / Revised: 22 December 2020 / Accepted: 23 December 2020 / Published: 27 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Emerging Arboviruses, Volume II)
The emergence of arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) as linked to land-use changes, especially the growing agricultural intensification and expansion efforts in rural parts of Africa, is of growing health concern. This places an additional burden on health systems as drugs, vaccines, and effective vector-control measures against arboviruses and their vectors remain lacking. An integrated One Health approach holds potential in the control and prevention of arboviruses. Land-use changes favour invasion by invasive alien plants (IAPs) and investigating their impact on mosquito populations may offer a new dimension to our understanding of arbovirus emergence. Of prime importance to understand is how IAPs influence mosquito life-history traits and how this may affect transmission of arboviruses to mammalian hosts, questions that we are exploring in this review. Potential effects of IAPs may be significant, including supporting the proliferation of immature and adult stages of mosquito vectors, providing additional nutrition and suitable microhabitats, and a possible interaction between ingested secondary plant metabolites and arboviruses. We conclude that aspects of vector biology are differentially affected by individual IAPs and that while some plants may have the potential to indirectly increase the risk of transmission of certain arboviruses by their direct interaction with the vectors, the reverse holds for other IAPs. In addition, we highlight priority research areas to improve our understanding of the potential health impacts of IAPs. View Full-Text
Keywords: agricultural intensification; agricultural expansion; arboviral disease vectors; invasive plants; Lantana camara; land-use changes; mosquito ecology; Opuntia ficus-indica; pathogen transmission; Prosopis juliflora; Parthenium hysterophorus agricultural intensification; agricultural expansion; arboviral disease vectors; invasive plants; Lantana camara; land-use changes; mosquito ecology; Opuntia ficus-indica; pathogen transmission; Prosopis juliflora; Parthenium hysterophorus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Agha, S.B.; Alvarez, M.; Becker, M.; Fèvre, E.M.; Junglen, S.; Borgemeister, C. Invasive Alien Plants in Africa and the Potential Emergence of Mosquito-Borne Arboviral Diseases—A Review and Research Outlook. Viruses 2021, 13, 32. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010032

AMA Style

Agha SB, Alvarez M, Becker M, Fèvre EM, Junglen S, Borgemeister C. Invasive Alien Plants in Africa and the Potential Emergence of Mosquito-Borne Arboviral Diseases—A Review and Research Outlook. Viruses. 2021; 13(1):32. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010032

Chicago/Turabian Style

Agha, Sheila B., Miguel Alvarez, Mathias Becker, Eric M. Fèvre, Sandra Junglen, and Christian Borgemeister. 2021. "Invasive Alien Plants in Africa and the Potential Emergence of Mosquito-Borne Arboviral Diseases—A Review and Research Outlook" Viruses 13, no. 1: 32. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010032

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