A Method for Repeated, Longitudinal Sampling of Individual Aedes aegypti for Transmission Potential of Arboviruses
Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
Center for Vector-Borne Diseases, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX 78539, USA
Center for Computation and Technology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Corey L. Campbell
Received: 1 March 2021 / Revised: 24 March 2021 / Accepted: 25 March 2021 / Published: 27 March 2021
Mosquito-borne viruses, such as Zika virus (ZIKV), remain a major public health concern worldwide. Vector competence is defined by the ability of a vector (mosquito) to become infected by and subsequently transmit a virus. Not all species of mosquitoes will transmit the same viruses; therefore, it is imperative that we continue to study mosquito–virus pairings in order to assess risk of transmission in different areas. Traditionally, a competent vector is determined by a high proportion of infectious saliva at terminal time points. However, a multitude of factors, such as mosquito biting habits and time, will have an impact on vector competence. We herein present a novel method for measuring biting habits and ZIKV transmission over time. To do this, we offered individual mosquitoes a bloodmeal (180 μL) every other day from 9 to 24 days post-exposure. Biting behavior was recorded as either probing, blood fed, or no bite; the bloodmeal was then collected and tested for the presence of ZIKV. Our results were successful in measuring behavior and viral transmission over time, and demonstrated variation among individual mosquitoes for both biting behavior and the amount of virus expectorated over time. Our results highlight the need for continued investigation into the complexity of vector competence, and we offer a method to aid in such investigations.