Special Issue "Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition"

A special issue of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease (ISSN 2414-6366).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 June 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Rebekah C. Kading
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Microbiology Immunology and Pathology, Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1692, USA
Interests: medical entomology; emerging arboviruses; bat-borne viruses; disease ecology; vector competence; Rift Valley fever virus
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Aaron C Brault
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Division of Vector-borne Diseases, Arbovirus Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521, USA
Interests: viral genetic determinants of vector competence and pathogenesis of arboviruses; molecular epidemiology; novel modes of arbovirus transmission
Prof. Dr. J. David Beckham
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departments of Medicine, Neurology, and Immunology & Microbiology, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Rocky Mountain Regional VAMC, 12700 E. 19th Avenue, B168, Denver, CO 80045, USA
Interests: RNA virus pathogenesis; Flaviviruses; RNA virus vaccine development; neuroinflammation; neurodegeneration
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Arthropod-borne viruses affect billions of people around the world and comprise a significant proportion of emerging human pathogens. Most recently, the emergence and explosive spread of Zika virus from an obscure flavivirus transmitted among nonhuman primates and arboreal mosquitoes in Uganda to a global pandemic challenged the global health infrastructure to identify and respond to the emergence and spread of this virus. Viruses including Rift valley fever virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, Mayaro virus, Usutu virus, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, and others have captured the attention of the scientific community as possible emerging public health threats.   

This Special Issue will highlight various aspects of arbovirus outbreaks in endemic regions as well as areas of introduction. We seek to showcase the important work that is being done to mitigate epidemic activity and protect human health from emerging arboviral threats, as well as provide a collection of insights into factors that contribute to outbreak initiation and maintenance, movement of viruses to new areas, novel treatment and containment options, and of novel disease phenotypes and modes of transmission. Manuscripts to be included in this collection are being sought in the following areas: novel surveillance approaches; outbreak prediction and risk assessment; virus transmission ecology and epidemiology during recent outbreaks; advances in diagnosis and treatment of emerging arboviral diseases; virus genetic diversity and evolution; emergence trends and invasion ecology of vectors and viruses into areas of introduction; new discoveries, changes in epidemiology, pathogenicity, geographic distribution of vectors and viruses; unique case studies; lessons from the field; new data on vector and reservoir potential; and the dynamics of virus spill-over and spillback.

Dr. Rebekah C. Kading
Dr. Aaron C Brault
Prof. Dr. J. David Beckham
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. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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

  • arbovirus
  • surveillance
  • outbreak
  • epidemiology
  • emerging viruses
  • mosquito
  • tick

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Global Perspectives on Arbovirus Outbreaks: A 2020 Snapshot
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5030142 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1003
Abstract
When this special Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)
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Editorial
The Endless Challenges of Arboviral Diseases in Brazil
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5020075 - 09 May 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1980
Abstract
In this Editorial, we list and discuss some of the main challenges faced by the population and public health authorities in Brazil concerning arbovirus infections, including the occurrence of concurrent epidemics like the ongoing SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)
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Research

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Article
Detection of a Locally-Acquired Zika Virus Outbreak in Hidalgo County, Texas through Increased Antenatal Testing in a High-Risk Area
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(3), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5030128 - 05 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1224
Abstract
Hidalgo County (HC), located along the Texas–Mexico border, was listed as a high-risk county for Zika virus (ZIKV) in 2017 by the Texas Department of State Health Services, based on its historical presence of Dengue. Due to its subtropical climate, active binational travel, [...] Read more.
Hidalgo County (HC), located along the Texas–Mexico border, was listed as a high-risk county for Zika virus (ZIKV) in 2017 by the Texas Department of State Health Services, based on its historical presence of Dengue. Due to its subtropical climate, active binational travel, and population of low socioeconomic status, Hidalgo County focused on disease detection activities for the prevention of further transmission. Therefore, Hidalgo County Health and Human Services enacted public health surveillance, reviewed laboratory results, and conducted epidemiological investigations from 2016 to 2018. In 2017, Hidalgo County experienced a locally-acquired outbreak of Zika virus disease, resulting in the highest local mosquito-borne acquisition case count for the year within the United States. This resulted in Hidalgo County reviewing epidemiological data for disease detection and risk areas. With the data review, key outcomes of testing were identified. This included the importance of both RT-PCR and IgM-ELISA/PRNT testing methods. In addition, increased antenatal testing and surveillance also recognized the need of improved disease identification and testing among the general population, especially during localized outbreaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)
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Article
Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices (KAP) of Italian Occupational Physicians towards Tick Borne Encephalitis
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(3), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5030117 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1148
Abstract
Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) is an occupational health threat with increasing incidence in the geographic area of Italy. Despite this, TBE vaccination rates have ranged from 10% to 40% in Italy, even in at-risk workers. The reasons for this low rate are investigated in [...] Read more.
Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) is an occupational health threat with increasing incidence in the geographic area of Italy. Despite this, TBE vaccination rates have ranged from 10% to 40% in Italy, even in at-risk workers. The reasons for this low rate are investigated in this present study of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of occupational physicians (OP) regarding TBE disease and vaccination in at-risk workers. A total of 229 OP participated in an internet-based survey by completing a structured questionnaire. Adequate general knowledge of TBE disease was found in 58% of OP. Accurate perception of TBE risk in occupational settings was found in 20%. TBE vaccination for at-risk workers was recommended by 19%. Willingness to recommend TBE vaccination was more likely by OP practicing in endemic areas (Odds Ratio 3.10, 95% confidence intervals 1.47–6.55), who knew the existence of the term “arboviruses” (3.10, 1.29–7.44), or exhibited a better understanding of TBE (2.38, 1.11–5.12)—and were positive predictors for promoting TBE vaccine, while acknowledging that TBE as a severe disease was a negative one. Tick-borne disorders in Italy are a still rare (but increasing) occupational health threat, and vaccination gaps for TBE virus may find an explanation in OP incomplete knowledge of evidence-based recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)
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Article
Vertical Infestation Profile of Aedes in Selected Urban High-Rise Residences in Malaysia
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(3), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5030114 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 940
Abstract
Dengue is placing huge burdens on the Malaysian healthcare system as well as the economy. With the expansion in the number of high-rise residential buildings, particularly in the urban centers, the flight range and behavior of Aedes mosquitoes may be altered in this [...] Read more.
Dengue is placing huge burdens on the Malaysian healthcare system as well as the economy. With the expansion in the number of high-rise residential buildings, particularly in the urban centers, the flight range and behavior of Aedes mosquitoes may be altered in this habitat type. In this study, we aimed to expand the understanding of the vertical distribution and dispersal of Aedes in nine selected high-rise residences in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Johor using ovitraps as the sampling method. We discovered that Ae. aegypti is the predominant species in all study sites. Both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus are most abundant within the first three levels and could be found up to level 21 (approximately 61.1–63.0 m). Pearson correlation analyses exhibited negative correlations in eight out of nine study sites between the ovitrap indexes (OIs) within each floor level, suggesting that Aedes density decreased as the building level increased. Our findings provide information to the public health authorities on ‘hot spot’ floors for effective suppression of dengue transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)
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Article
The Emergence of Chikungunya ECSA Lineage in a Mayaro Endemic Region on the Southern Border of the Amazon Forest
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(2), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5020105 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Anthropic changes on the edges of the tropical forests may facilitate the emergence of new viruses from the sylvatic environment and the simultaneous circulation of sylvatic and urban viruses in the human population. In this study, we investigated the presence of arboviruses (arthropod-borne [...] Read more.
Anthropic changes on the edges of the tropical forests may facilitate the emergence of new viruses from the sylvatic environment and the simultaneous circulation of sylvatic and urban viruses in the human population. In this study, we investigated the presence of arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses) in the sera of 354 patients, sampled from February 2014 to October 2018 in Sinop city. We sequenced the complete genomes of one chikungunya virus (CHIKV)-positive and one out of the 33 Mayaro virus (MAYV)-positive samples. The CHIKV genome obtained here belongs to the East/Central/South African (ECSA) genotype and the MAYV genome belongs to the L genotype. These genomes clustered with other viral strains from different Brazilian states, but the CHIKV strain circulating in Sinop did not cluster with other genomes from the Mato Grosso state, suggesting that at least two independent introductions of this virus occurred in Mato Grosso. Interestingly, the arrival of CHIKV in Sinop seems to not have caused a surge in human cases in the following years, as observed in the rest of the state, suggesting that cross immunity from MAYV infection might be protecting the population from CHIKV infection. These findings reinforce the need for continued genomic surveillance in order to evaluate how simultaneously circulating alphaviruses infecting the human population will unfold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)
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Article
Identification of Mosquito Bloodmeals Collected in Diverse Habitats in Malaysian Borneo Using COI Barcoding
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5020051 - 01 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1682
Abstract
Land cover and land use change (LCLUC) acts as a catalyst for spillover of arthropod-borne pathogens into novel hosts by shifting host and vector diversity, abundance, and distribution, ultimately reshaping host–vector interactions. Identification of bloodmeals from wild-caught mosquitoes provides insight into host utilization [...] Read more.
Land cover and land use change (LCLUC) acts as a catalyst for spillover of arthropod-borne pathogens into novel hosts by shifting host and vector diversity, abundance, and distribution, ultimately reshaping host–vector interactions. Identification of bloodmeals from wild-caught mosquitoes provides insight into host utilization of particular species in particular land cover types, and hence their potential role in pathogen maintenance and spillover. Here, we collected 134 blood-engorged mosquitoes comprising 10 taxa across 9 land cover types in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, a region experiencing intense LCLUC and concomitant spillover of arthropod-borne pathogens. Host sources of blood were successfully identified for 116 (87%) mosquitoes using cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) barcoding. A diverse range of hosts were identified, including reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Sixteen engorged Aedes albopictus, a major vector of dengue virus, were collected from seven land cover types and found to feed exclusively on humans (73%) and boar (27%). Culex tritaeniohynchus (n = 2), Cx. gelidus (n = 3), and Cx. quiquefasciatus (n = 3), vectors of Japanese encephalitis virus, fed on humans and pigs in the rural built-up land cover, creating potential transmission networks between these species. Our data support the use of COI barcoding to characterize mosquito–host networks in a biodiversity hotspot. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)
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Review

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Review
Towards a Sustainable One Health Approach to Crimean–Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Prevention: Focus Areas and Gaps in Knowledge
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(3), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5030113 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2334
Abstract
Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) infection is identified in the 2018 World Health Organization Research and Development Blueprint and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID) priority A list due to its high risk to public health and national security. Tick-borne [...] Read more.
Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) infection is identified in the 2018 World Health Organization Research and Development Blueprint and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID) priority A list due to its high risk to public health and national security. Tick-borne CCHFV is widespread, found in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. It circulates between ticks and several vertebrate hosts without causing overt disease, and thus can be present in areas without being noticed by the public. As a result, the potential for zoonotic spillover from ticks and animals to humans is high. In contrast to other emerging viruses, human-to-human transmission of CCHFV is typically limited; therefore, prevention of spillover events should be prioritized when considering countermeasures. Several factors in the transmission dynamics of CCHFV, including a complex transmission cycle that involves both ticks and vertebrate hosts, lend themselves to a One Health approach for the prevention and control of the disease that are often overlooked by current strategies. Here, we examine critical focus areas to help mitigate CCHFV spillover, including surveillance, risk assessment, and risk reduction strategies concentrated on humans, animals, and ticks; highlight gaps in knowledge; and discuss considerations for a more sustainable One Health approach to disease control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)
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Review
Rift Valley Fever: Important Considerations for Risk Mitigation and Future Outbreaks
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(2), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5020089 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1246
Abstract
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a zoonotic phlebovirus of the Phenuiviridae family with great opportunity for emergence in previously unaffected regions, despite its current geographical limits. Outbreaks of RVFV often infect humans or domesticated animals, such as livestock, concurrently and occur sporadically, [...] Read more.
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a zoonotic phlebovirus of the Phenuiviridae family with great opportunity for emergence in previously unaffected regions, despite its current geographical limits. Outbreaks of RVFV often infect humans or domesticated animals, such as livestock, concurrently and occur sporadically, ranging from localized outbreaks in villages to multi-country events that spread rapidly. The true burden of Rift Valley fever (RVF) is not well defined due to underreporting, misdiagnosis caused by the broad spectrum of disease presentation, and minimal access for rapid and accurate laboratory confirmation. Severe symptoms may include hemorrhagic fever, loss of vision, psychological impairment or disturbances, and organ failure. Those living in endemic areas and travelers should be aware of the potential for exposure to ongoing outbreaks or interepidemic transmission, and engage in behaviors to minimize exposure risks, as vaccinations in humans are currently unavailable and animal vaccinations are not used routinely or ubiquitously. The lack of vaccines approved for use in humans is concerning, as RVFV has proven to be highly pathogenic in naïve populations, causing severe disease in a large percent of confirmed cases, which could have considerable impact on human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)

Other

Case Report
Neuroinvasive West Nile Infection with an Unusual Clinical Presentation: A Single-Center Case Series
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(3), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5030138 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1053
Abstract
The 2018 West Nile Virus (WNV) season in Europe was characterized by an extremely high infection rate and an exceptionally higher burden when compared to previous seasons. Overall, there was a 10.9-fold increase in incidence in Italy, with 577 human cases, 230 WNV [...] Read more.
The 2018 West Nile Virus (WNV) season in Europe was characterized by an extremely high infection rate and an exceptionally higher burden when compared to previous seasons. Overall, there was a 10.9-fold increase in incidence in Italy, with 577 human cases, 230 WNV neuroinvasive diseases (WNNV) and 42 WNV-attributed deaths. Methods: in this paper we retrospectively reported the neurological presentation of 7 patients admitted to University Hospital of Udine with a diagnosis of WNNV, especially focusing on two patients who presented with atypical severe brain stem involvement. Conclusions: the atypical features of some of these forms highlight the necessity to stay vigilant and suspect the diagnosis when confronted with neurological symptoms. We strongly encourage clinicians to consider WNNV in patients presenting with unexplained neurological symptoms in mild climate-areas at risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)
Letter
Letter to the Editor: Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus 1B Invasion and Epidemic Control—South Texas, 1971
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(2), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5020104 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 826
Abstract
The epidemic strain of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE) 1B invaded south Texas in 1971. The success of the eventual containment and control of the virus invasion was the early recognition and immediate detection, cooperation, coordination, and participation among multiple federal agencies. There [...] Read more.
The epidemic strain of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEE) 1B invaded south Texas in 1971. The success of the eventual containment and control of the virus invasion was the early recognition and immediate detection, cooperation, coordination, and participation among multiple federal agencies. There were 4739 wild vertebrate animals trapped on a ranch in the area with only 1 VEE virus isolation from a Virgina opossum (Didelphis virginiana). A large number of mosquitoes were also collected on the ranch and tested, resulting in 240 VEE virus isolations. Virus isolations were obtained from 58% of the 33 equines tested. Wild vertebrates did not play a significant role in the outbreak. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)
Perspective
Emergence of Arboviruses in the United States: The Boom and Bust of Funding, Innovation, and Capacity
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(2), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5020096 - 06 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1425
Abstract
Mosquito-borne viruses will continue to emerge and generate a significant public health burden around the globe. Here, we provide a longitudinal perspective on how the emergence of mosquito-borne viruses in the Americas has triggered reactionary funding by sponsored agencies, stimulating a number of [...] Read more.
Mosquito-borne viruses will continue to emerge and generate a significant public health burden around the globe. Here, we provide a longitudinal perspective on how the emergence of mosquito-borne viruses in the Americas has triggered reactionary funding by sponsored agencies, stimulating a number of publications, innovative development of traps, and augmented capacity. We discuss the return on investment (ROI) from the oscillation in federal funding that influences demand for surveillance and control traps and leads to innovation and research productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod-Borne Viruses: The Outbreak Edition)
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