Special Issue "Vector Biology and Ecology"

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sally Paulson
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Guest Editor
Department of Entomology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, USA
Interests: vector biology and ecology; invasive species; enzootic disease cycles
Dr. Gillian Eastwood
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Guest Editor
Department of Entomology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, USA
Interests: vector ecology; emerging infectious disease; enzootic transmission cycles; One Health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Vector ecology and biology – the study of insects that transmit pathogens, their interaction with (vertebrate) hosts or with the disease-causing parasitic organisms - has an important role in preventing vector-borne disease. Vector-borne diseases have increased in prevalence globally, driving a need to understand the ecological factors driving their maintenance or potential spread. Improved knowledge of vectors, such as mosquito or tick populations, and their role in pathogen transmission cycles, can aid predictions of outbreaks of disease, and feed into efficient vector control strategies.

This Special Issue welcomes papers on multiple aspects of the behavior, ecology and interactions of vectors, their hosts and pathogens, transmission cycle mechanisms, or novel monitoring approaches; those which have relevance in preventing the spread and incidence of vector-borne disease.

Dr. Sally Paulson
Dr. Gillian Eastwood
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • disease vector
  • medical and veterinary entomology
  • pathogen transmission cycle
  • vector biology
  • invasive vector species

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Influence of Forest Disturbance on La Crosse Virus Risk in Southwestern Virginia
Insects 2020, 11(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11010028 - 30 Dec 2019
Abstract
Forest disturbance effects on La Crosse virus (LACV) are currently unknown. We determined the abundance of three LACV accessory vectors (Aedes albopictus, Ae. canadensis, and Ae. vexans) and the primary amplifying host (Eastern chipmunk; Tamias striatus), and tested [...] Read more.
Forest disturbance effects on La Crosse virus (LACV) are currently unknown. We determined the abundance of three LACV accessory vectors (Aedes albopictus, Ae. canadensis, and Ae. vexans) and the primary amplifying host (Eastern chipmunk; Tamias striatus), and tested for LACV prevalence in both vectors and chipmunks, across a gradient of experimental forest disturbance treatments in southwest Virginia. Forest disturbance significantly affected the abundance of LACV accessory vectors, with a higher abundance on disturbed sites for Ae. canadensis and Ae. vexans. However, there was no significant disturbance effect on chipmunk abundance. Forest disturbance significantly affected LACV prevalence in mosquito vectors, with most (80%) detections on unlogged control sites, which past work showed harbor the highest abundance of the two most common LACV vectors (the primary vector Aedes triseriatus, and Ae. japonicus). Interestingly, LACV nucleic acid was only detected in Ae. japonicus and Culex pipiens/restuans, with no detections in the primary vector, Ae. triseriatus. In contrast to the vector results, antibodies were only found in chipmunks on logged sites, but this result was not statistically significant. Overall, our results suggest that human LACV risk should generally decline with logging, and reveal the potential importance of accessory vectors in LACV maintenance in Appalachian forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector Biology and Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Temperature Effects on Population Density of the Dengue Mosquito Aedes aegypti
Insects 2019, 10(11), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10110393 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
Mosquito density plays an important role in the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and Zika. While it remains very challenging to estimate the density of mosquitoes, modelers have tried different methods to represent it in mathematical models. The goal of this [...] Read more.
Mosquito density plays an important role in the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and Zika. While it remains very challenging to estimate the density of mosquitoes, modelers have tried different methods to represent it in mathematical models. The goal of this paper is to investigate the various ways mosquito density has been quantified, as well as to propose a dynamical system model that includes the details of mosquito life stages leading to the adult population. We first discuss the mosquito traits involved in determining mosquito density, focusing on those that are temperature dependent. We evaluate different forms of models for mosquito densities based on these traits and explore their dynamics as temperature varies. Finally, we compare the predictions of the models to observations of Aedes aegypti abundances over time in Vitòria, Brazil. Our results indicate that the four models exhibit qualitatively and quantitatively different behaviors when forced by temperature, but that all seem reasonably consistent with observed abundance data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector Biology and Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle
Satellite Imaging and Long-Term Mosquito Surveillance Implicate the Influence of Rapid Urbanization on Culex Vector Populations
Insects 2019, 10(9), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10090269 - 24 Aug 2019
Abstract
The ecology and environmental conditions of a habitat have profound influences on mosquito population abundance. As a result, mosquito species vary in their associations with particular habitat types, yet long-term studies showing how mosquito populations shift in a changing ecological landscape are lacking. [...] Read more.
The ecology and environmental conditions of a habitat have profound influences on mosquito population abundance. As a result, mosquito species vary in their associations with particular habitat types, yet long-term studies showing how mosquito populations shift in a changing ecological landscape are lacking. To better understand how land use changes influence mosquito populations, we examined mosquito surveillance data over a thirty-four-year period for two contrasting sites in central Iowa. One site displayed increasing levels of urbanization over time and a dramatic decline in Culex pipiens group (an informal grouping of Culex restuans, Culex pipiens, and Culex salinarius, referred to as CPG), the primary vectors of West Nile virus in central Iowa. Similar effects were also shown for other mosquito vector populations, yet the abundance of Aedes vexans remained constant during the study period. This is in contrast to a second site, which reflected an established urban landscape. At this location, there were no significant changes in land use and CPG populations remained constant. Climate data (temperature, total precipitation) were compiled for each location to see if these changes could account for altered population dynamics, but neither significantly influence CPG abundance at the respective site locations. Taken together, our data suggest that increased landscape development can have negative impacts on Culex vector populations, and we argue that long-term surveillance paired with satellite imagery analysis are useful methods for measuring the impacts of rapid human development on mosquito vector communities. As a result, we believe that land use changes can have important implications for mosquito management practices, population modeling, and disease transmission dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector Biology and Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle
Size of Openings in Water-Holding Containers: Impact on Oviposition by Culex (Culex) Mosquitoes
Insects 2019, 10(9), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10090257 - 21 Aug 2019
Abstract
To assess how a grate covering a catch basin impacts oviposition by Culex mosquitoes, a field study was conducted in south Florida using containers with two types of covers, with openings of equal area, but different configurations. One opening mimicked a catch basin [...] Read more.
To assess how a grate covering a catch basin impacts oviposition by Culex mosquitoes, a field study was conducted in south Florida using containers with two types of covers, with openings of equal area, but different configurations. One opening mimicked a catch basin grate with 16 small openings, while the other cover had just one large opening. The number and presence of egg rafts in six of each container and cover combination was recorded over 18 nights at two field sites, consisting of a wastewater management facility area and residential subdivision. Three mosquito species, all belonging to the subgenus Culex accounted for more than 99% of total egg rafts collected: Culex nigripalpus (n = 1766), Culex quinquefasciatus (n = 754) and Culex coronator (n = 526). Approximately 90% of Cx. nigripalpus and Cx. coronator egg rafts were deposited in the containers with the large opening cover; whereas more Cx. quinquefasciatus egg rafts were laid in the containers with small opening covers than those of Culex nigripalpus and Culex coronator combined. Similar patterns of egg laying activity were noted at each sampling stations. These results suggest that for locating oviposition sites Culex quinquefasciatus may rely more on olfactory clues, while other Culex species depend more on visual clues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector Biology and Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle
The Prediapause Stage of Aedes japonicus japonicus and the Evolution of Embryonic Diapause in Aedini
Insects 2019, 10(8), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10080222 - 25 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The genus Aedes is well known for its desiccation-resistant eggs, which frequently serve as an overwintering mechanism through diapause. Despite this, relatively little is known about the diapause and overwintering biology of most Aedes species including Aedes japonicus japonicus, an invasive mosquito [...] Read more.
The genus Aedes is well known for its desiccation-resistant eggs, which frequently serve as an overwintering mechanism through diapause. Despite this, relatively little is known about the diapause and overwintering biology of most Aedes species including Aedes japonicus japonicus, an invasive mosquito in the United States. The importance of this mosquito in disease systems like La Crosse virus remain uncertain. Embryonic diapause is used by Ae. j. japonicus to survive temperate winters, and the persistence of this species in the Appalachian region is a result of overwintering, which has important implications for the transmission of this virus to humans. The objective of this study was to identify the prediapause stage, or the stage sensitive to environmental cues needed to induce diapause in this mosquito. By exposing each Ae. j. japonicus life stage independently to short-day photoperiods, we determined that the adult maternal life stage is the prediapause stage. Using the most recent phylogeny and prior literature on the prediapause stages in the genus Aedes, we were able to infer the evolutionary history of the prediapause stages of Aedes mosquitoes that overwinter or aestivate as eggs. This initial ancestral state reconstruction allowed us to hypothesize that Aedini mosquitoes that undergo obligate diapause may have evolved from those utilizing the embryonic prediapause stage, and that the ancestral prediapause state of Aedini appears to be maternally controlled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector Biology and Ecology)
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