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Impact of Mosquito Age and Insecticide Exposure on Susceptibility of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) to Infection with Zika Virus

Environmental Health Sciences Program, Department of Health Education and Promotion, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA [email protected] (H.K.)
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2018, 7(3), 67;
Received: 10 July 2018 / Revised: 2 August 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 12 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virus-Host Interactions of Zika Virus)
Zika virus (ZIKV) is primarily transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus. Vector–virus interactions influencing vector competence vary and depend on biological and environmental factors. A mosquito’s chronological age may impact its immune response against virus infection. Insecticides, source reduction, and/or public education are currently the best defense against mosquitoes that transmit ZIKV. This study assessed the effects of a mosquito’s chronological age at time of infection on its response to ZIKV infection. We exposed young (6–7 d post-emergence) and old (11–12 d post-emergence) Ae. albopictus to a sublethal dose of bifenthrin prior to oral exposure to blood meals containing ZIKV (7-day incubation period). Old mosquitoes experienced a significantly (p < 0.01) higher rate of mortality than young mosquitoes. Significantly higher ZIKV body titers (p < 0.01) were observed in the old control group compared to the young control group. Significantly higher (p < 0.01) ZIKV dissemination rates and leg titers (p < 0.01) were observed in old bifenthrin-exposed mosquitoes compared to old control mosquitoes or young bifenthrin-exposed or control mosquitoes. Hence, bifenthrin exposure may increase the potential for virus transmission; however, the degree of these impacts varies with mosquito age. Impacts of insecticides should be considered in risk assessments of potential vector populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: vector competence; mosquito age; Zika; insecticides vector competence; mosquito age; Zika; insecticides
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Knecht, H.; Richards, S.L.; Balanay, J.A.G.; White, A.V. Impact of Mosquito Age and Insecticide Exposure on Susceptibility of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) to Infection with Zika Virus. Pathogens 2018, 7, 67.

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