Special Issue "Vector-Borne Infections: From Ecology to Vector-Microbe-Host Interactions"

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Ecology, Diversity and Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Errol Hassan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland Gatton, Gatton, Queensland 4343, Australia
Interests: extraction and evaluation of biopesticides; new approaches and processes for natural products; integrated pest management; applied entomology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Cemil Kürekci
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Associate Professor, Department of Food Hygiene and Technology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Hatay Mustafa Kemal University, Hatay, Turkey
Interests: applied microbiology; antimicrobial drug resistance; food safety and zoonoses; plant-derived antimicrobial compounds
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Many viral, bacterial, and parasitic infectious disease agents have been found to be transmitted directly from person to person, or from animals to humans by insect vectors. Besides causing hundreds of millions of cases of disease in humans and animals each year, insects also play a significant role in the dissemination of these organisms with important traits (e.g., virulence and drug resistance genes) in different ecological niches, including water bodies, in/near hospitals and animal farms, and food production facilities. In addition, some factors, such as climate change, and societal changes, such as agricultural practices and deforestation, significantly influence the distribution of the vector and the emergence/resurgence of vector-borne diseases. Nevertheless, little is known about them despite their great importance.

For this Special Issue, we welcome manuscripts (original research papers, reviews, and meta-analyses) that provide insights into vector-borne diseases and their role in the emergence/spread of drug resistance and the influence of environmental factors.

We invite manuscripts on the following topics:

  • the prevalence and pattern of pathogenic species and their epidemiology (e.g., the re-emergence of old diseases and new pathogen species) in insects.
  • disease carriage and transmission dynamics in different anthropogenic and environmental circumstances.
  • the relationship between the insect gut microbiome and vector-borne disease.
  • assessment of innovative and traditional strategies for insect population management.
  • the impact of sample treatment and recent advances in molecular techniques.
  • regulatory enforcement and quarantine aspects of insects and related diseases.
  • in vitro and animal model systems relevant to vector–microbe–host interactions.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Errol Hassan
Dr. Cemil Kürekci
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 1600 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

  • vector-borne infection agents
  • ecology
  • drug resistance
  • host interactions

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Using Data Mining and Network Analysis to Infer Arboviral Dynamics: The Case of Mosquito-Borne Flaviviruses Reported in Mexico
Insects 2021, 12(5), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12050398 - 29 Apr 2021
Viewed by 873
Abstract
Given the significant impact of mosquito-borne flaviviruses (MBFVs) on both human and animal health, predicting their dynamics and understanding their transmission cycle is of the utmost importance. Usually, predictions about the distribution of priority pathogens, such as Dengue, Yellow fever, West Nile Virus [...] Read more.
Given the significant impact of mosquito-borne flaviviruses (MBFVs) on both human and animal health, predicting their dynamics and understanding their transmission cycle is of the utmost importance. Usually, predictions about the distribution of priority pathogens, such as Dengue, Yellow fever, West Nile Virus and St. Louis encephalitis, relate abiotic elements to simple biotic components, such as a single causal agent. Furthermore, focusing on single pathogens neglects the possibility of interactions and the existence of common elements in the transmission cycles of multiple pathogens. A necessary, but not sufficient, condition that a mosquito be a vector of a MBFV is that it co-occurs with hosts of the pathogen. We therefore use a recently developed modeling framework, based on co-occurrence data, to infer potential biotic interactions between those mosquito and mammal species which have previously been identified as vectors or confirmed positives of at least one of the considered MBFVs. We thus create models for predicting the relative importance of mosquito species as potential vectors for each pathogen, and also for all pathogens together, using the known vectors to validate the models. We infer that various mosquito species are likely to be significant vectors, even though they have not currently been identified as such, and are likely to harbor multiple pathogens, again validating the predictions with known results. Besides the above “niche-based” viewpoint we also consider an assemblage-based analysis, wherein we use a community-identification algorithm to identify those mosquito and/or mammal species that form assemblages by dint of their significant degree of co-occurrence. The most cohesive assemblage includes important primary vectors, such as A. aegypti, A. albopictus, C. quinquefasciatus, C. pipiens and mammals with abundant populations that are well-adapted to human environments, such as the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), peccary (Tayassu pecari), opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) and bats (Artibeus lituratus and Sturnira lilium). Our results suggest that this assemblage has an important role in the transmission dynamics of this viral group viewed as a complex multi-pathogen-vector-host system. By including biotic risk factors our approach also modifies the geographical risk profiles of the spatial distribution of MBFVs in Mexico relative to a consideration of only abiotic niche variables. Full article
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Article
Designing Aedes (Diptera: Culicidae) Mosquito Traps: The Evolution of the Male Aedes Sound Trap by Iterative Evaluation
Insects 2021, 12(5), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12050388 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
Effective surveillance of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, Diptera: Culicidae) is critical to monitoring the impact of vector control measures when mitigating disease transmission by this species. There are benefits to deploying male-specific traps, particularly when a high level of catch-specificity is desired. Here, the [...] Read more.
Effective surveillance of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, Diptera: Culicidae) is critical to monitoring the impact of vector control measures when mitigating disease transmission by this species. There are benefits to deploying male-specific traps, particularly when a high level of catch-specificity is desired. Here, the rationale behind the developmental process of an entirely new trap which uses a sound lure to capture male Ae. aegypti, the male Aedes sound trap (MAST), is presented as a target product profile with findings from developmental trials of key trap components and performance. Trial results suggest that the presence of a black base associated with the trap influenced male catches as did variations in size of this base, to a degree. Trap entrance shape didn’t influence catch rates, but entrance size did. No significant differences in catch rates were found when sound lures were set to intermittent or continuous playbacks, at volumes between 63–74 dB or frequencies of 450 Hz compared to 500 Hz. Additionally, adult males aged 3 days post-eclosion, were less responsive to sound lures set to 500 Hz than those 4 or 6 days old. Lastly, almost no males were caught when the MAST directly faced continual winds of 1.5 ms−1, but males were captured at low rates during intermittent winds, or if the trap faced away from the wind. The developmental process to optimising this trap is applicable to the development of alternate mosquito traps beyond Aedes sound traps and provides useful information towards the improved surveillance of these disease vectors. Full article
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Article
Population Dynamics and Insecticide Susceptibility of Anopheles culicifacies in Malaria Endemic Districts of Chhattisgarh, India
Insects 2021, 12(4), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12040284 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 539
Abstract
A study was undertaken in the villages of Korea and Bastar district (Chhattisgarh) during the years 2012–2015 to investigate the bionomics of malaria vectors and the prevalence of their sibling species complexes. Entomological surveys carried out every month included indoor resting collections, pyrethrum [...] Read more.
A study was undertaken in the villages of Korea and Bastar district (Chhattisgarh) during the years 2012–2015 to investigate the bionomics of malaria vectors and the prevalence of their sibling species complexes. Entomological surveys carried out every month included indoor resting collections, pyrethrum spray catches, light trap catches, and insecticide susceptibility status of Anopheles culicifacies using World Health Organization (WHO) methods. Anopheles culicifacies and Anopheles fluviatilis species were assayed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of malaria parasite, and sibling species were identified using PCR and DNA sequencing. A total of 13,186 samples of Anopheles comprising 15 species from Bastar and 16 from Korea were collected. An. Culicifacies was recorded as the most dominant species and also the only active vector at both sites. This species was found to be resistant to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and Malathion, showing signs of emerging resistance against pyrethroids. Among the sibling species of An. culicifacies, the group BCE was found in maximum numbers, while sibling species T of the An. fluviatilis was recorded to be dominant among its complex. The study provides a comprehensive view of the vector bionomics in the highly malarious regions of India that may have importance in developing vector control strategies. Full article
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Brief Report
Molecular Identification of Borrelia spp. from Ticks in Pastures Nearby Livestock Farms in Korea
Insects 2021, 12(11), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12111011 - 09 Nov 2021
Viewed by 330
Abstract
Ticks are vectors that spread pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. As the number of ticks increases due to climate change, the importance of the study of tick-borne pathogens has also increased. This study was conducted to investigate the distribution of the major tick [...] Read more.
Ticks are vectors that spread pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. As the number of ticks increases due to climate change, the importance of the study of tick-borne pathogens has also increased. This study was conducted to investigate the distribution of the major tick species causing Lyme borreliosis and regional differences in the prevalence of Borrelia spp. by tick species. Borrelia infection was confirmed not only in Ixodes ticks, which are the major vectors of Borrelia spp., but also in Haemaphysalis and Amblyomma ticks. PCR targeting the 5S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region (rrf-rrl) was performed to confirm Borrelia positivity. A total of 6102 ticks (736 pools) were tested, and the proportion was Haemaphysalis longicornis nymphs and adults at 69.2%, Haemaphysalis flava nymphs and adults at 13.9%, Haemaphysalis spp. larva at 14.3%, Ixodes nipponensis at 0.8%, and Amblyomma testudinarium at 1.9%. Ixodes nipponensis showed the highest minimum infection rate (MIR: 34.00; 17 pools/50 ticks) for Borrelia spp., followed by A. testudinarium (MIR: 0.88), and H. longicornis (MIR: 0.05). In particular, to our knowledge Borrelia infection was first confirmed in A. testudinarium in Korea. As a result of phylogenetic analysis, all sequences were grouped with Borreliaafzelii isolates and showed a close relationship with high identity. Considering that B. afzelii causes infectious zoonotic diseases, continuous monitoring and attention are needed, although it has a low prevalence in this study. Full article
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