Mosquitoes are vectors of various human diseases in the tropics including yellow fever, dengue, malaria and West Nile virus. Mosquitoes can act as vectors between wildlife and humans, which is particularly important for diseases where wild animals serve as reservoirs of parasites in the absence of human infections. Research has mainly focused on the medical impacts of Anopheles, Aedes, Mansonia and Culex, however, very little attention has been directed towards other mosquito genera, especially those which act as vectors of diseases of wildlife. We have observed adults of Mimomyia (Etorleptiomyia) luzonensis (Ludlow, 1905) feeding on a toad, Ingerophrynus parvus, near an oil palm plantation settlement in Setia Alam, Selangor state, Peninsular Malaysia. Mimomyia is known to feed on reptiles and amphibians, and is a documented vector of several arboviruses, including West Nile virus. The observation of Mimomyia feeding on a common toad near a human settlement highlights a need to understand the relationships between mosquitoes, toads and humans from an ecological perspective. We report on-site observations of the feeding habit of Mimomyia; the first records from Malaysia.
Mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) has recently re-emerged globally. The epidemic East/Central/South African (ECSA) strains have spread for the first time to Asia, which previously only had endemic Asian strains. In Malaysia, the ECSA strain caused an extensive nationwide outbreak in 2008, while the Asian strains only caused limited outbreaks prior to this. To gain insight into these observed epidemiological differences, we compared genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of CHIKV of Asian and ECSA genotypes isolated in Malaysia.
In this study, we isolated a virus strain (YN12031) from specimens of Armigeres subalbatus collected in the China-Laos border. BHK-21 cells infected with YN12031 exhibited an evident cytopathic effect (CPE) 32 h post-infection. The virus particles were spherical, 70 nm in diameter, and enveloped; they also featured surface fibers. Molecular genetic analysis revealed that YN12031 was closely related to alpha viruses such as Chikungunya virus and Sindbis virus, and located in the same clade as MM2021, the prototype of Getahvirus (GETV) isolated in Malaysia in 1955. Phylogenetic analysis of the E2 and capsid genes further revealed that YN12031 was located in the same clade as the Russian isolate LEIV/16275/Mag. Analysis of the homology of nucleotides and amino acids in the coding area and E2 gene demonstrated that the YN12031 isolated from the China-Laos border (tropical region) was related closest to the LEIV/16275/Mag isolate obtained in Russia (North frigid zone area) among other isolates studied. These results suggest that GETV can adapt to different geographical environments to propagate and evolve. Thus, strengthening the detection and monitoring of GETV and its related diseases is very crucial.
We investigated spatial autocorrelation of female Aedes aegypti L. mosquito abundance from BG-Sentinel trap and sticky ovitrap collections in Cairns, north Queensland, Australia. BG-Sentinel trap collections in 2010 show a significant spatial autocorrelation across the study site and over a smaller spatial extent, while sticky ovitrap collections only indicate a non-significant, weak spatial autocorrelation. The BG-Sentinel trap collections were suitable for spatial interpolation using ordinary kriging and cokriging techniques. The uses of Premise Condition Index and potential breeding container data have helped improve our prediction of vector abundance. Semiovariograms and prediction maps indicate that the spatial autocorrelation of mosquito abundance determined by BG-Sentinel traps extends farther compared to sticky ovitrap collections. Based on our data, fewer BG-Sentinel traps are required to represent vector abundance at a series of houses compared to sticky ovitraps. A lack of spatial structure was observed following vector control treatment in the area. This finding has implications for the design and costs of dengue vector surveillance programs.
Chikungunya infection has become a public health threat in Malaysia since the 2008 nationwide outbreaks. Aedes albopictus Skuse has been identified as the chikungunya vector in Johor State during the outbreaks. In 2009, several outbreaks had been reported in the State of Kelantan. Entomological studies were conducted in Kelantan in four districts, namely Jeli, Tumpat, Pasir Mas and Tanah Merah to identify the vector responsible for the virus transmission.
Real-time PCR assay has many advantages over conventional PCR methods, including rapidity, quantitative measurement, low risk of contamination, high sensitivity, high specificity, and ease of standardization (Mackay et al., Nucleic Acids Res 30:1292-1305, 2002). The real-time PCR system relies upon the measurement of a fluorescent reporter during PCR, in which the amount of emitted fluorescence is directly proportional to the amount of the PCR product in a reaction (Gibsons et al., Genome Res 6:995-1001, 1996). Here, we describe the use of SYBR Green I-based and TaqMan(®) real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the detection and quantification of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV).
A 2-yr study of Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus in Sepang District, Selangor, Malaysia, was carried out to identify the mosquito vectors and to determine their seasonal abundance, parity, and infection rates. In total, 81,889 mosquitoes belonging to 9 genera and > 50 species were identified from CDC trap collections augmented with dry ice during 1992 and 1993. Culex tritaeniorhynchus Giles and Culex gelidus Giles were the most abundant species, and both increased in numbers with increases in rainfall. Overall, 45 JE virus isolations were made from 7 species-Cx. tritaeniorhynchus (24), Cx. gelidus (12), Culex fuscocephala Theobald (2), Aedes butleri Theobald (4), Culex quinquefasciatus Say (1), Aedes lineatopennis Ludlow (1), and Aedes (Cancraedes) sp. (1). Based on elevated abundance and JE infection rates, Cx. tritaeniorhynchus appears to be the most important vector of JE virus in Sepang.
Mosquito collections were carried out for a period of one year from January to December 1992 in a pig farm in Sungai Pelek, Selangor, Malaysia. A total of 41,022 mosquitos belonging to 52 species and 20 genera were collected. Culex tritaeniorhynchus and Cx. gelidus, the important vectors, comprised 63% of all mosquitos collected. Both these species were collected in large numbers during the wet months of May and December. The other predominant species in that area were Cx. fuscocephala, Cx. quinquefasciatus, Cx. sitiens, Aedes butleri, and Armigeres subalbatus.
Dengue viruses pose a considerable global public health problem with an estimated 100 million cases of illness every year. This illustrates the need for rapid and reliable diagnostic methods for proper patient management and disease control. Currently, laboratory diagnosis depends on serology or virus isolation, with both methods having certain drawbacks. Alternatively, reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) offers the potential for the rapid, highly sensitive and specific detection of dengue viruses. Since we occasionally encounter the problem of insufficient amounts of patient serum for the direct detection of dengue viruses, a method was developed for the extraction of viral RNA after biological amplification in mosquito larvae. Using this method, 15 of 19 clinical samples tested were correctly identified using RT-PCR.
Serum specimens were collected from 6 species of animals living in 9 states of Malaysia including Sabah, North Borneo in 1993. Antibodies against Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus in these sera were detected by means of hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) and neutralization (NT) tests. By HI test, 702 of 2,152 (32.6%) sera showed positive results. Higher positive rates were obtained by the NT test, in which 1,787 of 1,927 (92.7%) sera had antibodies against JE virus. All serum specimens with positive HI were confirmed as positive by the NT. Swine sera showed especially higher rates of antibody positive and higher antibody titers compared with other animals. These results suggest that JE infections are widely distributed among many animals of Malaysia, and pig is the most susceptible amplifier host for JE virus.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and West Nile virus (WNV) provide some of the most important examples of emerging zoonotic viral encephalitides. For these flaviviruses, only a small proportion of those infected develop clinical features, and these may range from a non-specific flu-like illness to a severe fatal meningoencephalitis, often with Parkinsonian features, or a poliomyelitis-like flaccid paralysis. The factors governing the clinical presentations, and outcome of flavivirus infections are poorly understood, but studies have looked at viral virulence determinants and the host immune response. Previous studies on JEV have suggested that the distribution of the four genotypes across Asia may relate to the differing clinical epidemiology (epidemic disease in the north, endemic disease in the south). However, new data based on the complete nucleotide sequence of a virus representing one of the oldest lineages, and phylogenetic analyses of all JEV strains for which genetic data are available, suggest that the distribution is best explained in terms of the virus' origin in the Indonesia-Malaysia region (where all genotypes have been found), and the spread of the more recent genotypes to new geographical areas. Clinical studies have shown that innate immunity, as manifested by interferon alpha levels, is important in JEV and other flaviviruses, but treatment with interferon alpha did not improve the outcome. A failure of the humoral immune response, is associated with death from encephalitis caused by JEV and WNV. Cellular immunity has been less well characterized, but CD8+ and CD4+ T cells are thought to be important.
Three novel insect-specific flaviviruses, isolated from mosquitoes collected in Peru, Malaysia (Sarawak), and the United States, are characterized. The new viruses, designated La Tina, Kampung Karu, and Long Pine Key, respectively, are antigenically and phylogenetically more similar to the mosquito-borne flavivirus pathogens, than to the classical insect-specific viruses like cell fusing agent and Culex flavivirus. The potential implications of this relationship and the possible uses of these and other arbovirus-related insect-specific flaviviruses are reviewed.
Eleven viral isolates derived mostly in albopictus C6/36 cells from mosquito pools collected in Southeast Asia and the Americas between 1966 and 2014 contained particles with electron microscopy morphology typical of reoviruses. Metagenomics analysis yielded the near complete genomes of three novel reoviruses, Big Cypress orbivirus, Ninarumi virus, and High Island virus and a new tetravirus, Sarawak virus. Strains of previously characterized Sathuvarachi, Yunnan, Banna and Parry's Lagoon viruses (Reoviridae), Bontang virus (Mesoniviridae), and Culex theileri flavivirus (Flaviviridae) were also characterized. The availability of these mosquito virus genomes will facilitate their detection by metagenomics or PCR to better determine their geographic range, extent of host tropism, and possible association with arthropod or vertebrate disease.
Two confirmed human cases of Zika virus (ZIKV) were reported in the district of Miri, Sarawak, in 2016. Following that, a mosquito-based ZIKV surveillance study was conducted within 200-m radius from the case houses. Mosquito surveillance was conducted using five different methods, that is, biogents sentinel mosquito (BG) sentinel trap, modified sticky ovitrap, resting catch, larval surveillance, and conventional ovitrap. A total of 527 and 390 mosquito samples were obtained from the case houses in two localities, namely, Kampung Lopeng and Taman Shang Ri La, Miri, Sarawak, respectively. All mosquitoes collected were identified, which consisted of 11 species. Aedes albopictus, both the adult and larval stages, was the dominant species. Resting catch method obtained the highest number of adult mosquitoes (67%), whereas ovitrap showed the highest catch for larval mosquitoes (84%). Zika virus was detected in both adults and larvae of Ae. albopictus together with adults of Culex gelidus, and Culex quinquefasciatus using the real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. It was noteworthy that Ae. albopictus positive with ZIKV were caught and obtained from four types of collection method. By contrast, Cx. gelidus and Culex quinquefasciatus adults collected from sticky ovitraps were also found positive with ZIKV. This study reveals vital information regarding the potential vectors of ZIKV and the possibility of transovarian transmission of the virus in Malaysia. These findings will be essentials for vector control program managers to devise preparedness and contingency plans of prevention and control of the arboviral disease.
The expansion of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya in the past 15 years has ignited the need for active surveillance of common and neglected mosquito-borne infectious diseases. The surveillance should be designed to detect diseases and to provide relevant field-based data for developing and implementing effective control measures to prevent outbreaks before significant public health consequences can occur. Mosquitoes are important vectors of human and animal pathogens, and knowledge on their biodiversity and distribution in the Afrotropical region is needed for the development of evidence-based vector control strategies. Following a comprehensive literature search, an inventory of the diversity and distribution of mosquitoes as well as the different mosquito-borne diseases found in Cameroon was made. A total of 290 publications/reports and the mosquito catalogue website were consulted for the review. To date, about 307 species, four subspecies and one putative new species of Culicidae, comprising 60 species and one putative new species of Anopheles, 67 species and two subspecies of Culex, 77 species and one subspecies of Aedes, 31 species and one subspecies of Eretmapodites, two Mansonia, eight Coquillettidia, and 62 species with unknown medical and veterinary importance (Toxorhynchites, Uranotaenia, Mimomyia, Malaya, Hodgesia, Ficalbia, Orthopodomyia, Aedeomyia, and Culiseta and Lutzia) have been collected in Cameroon. Multiple mosquito species implicated in the transmission of pathogens within Anopheles, Culex, Aedes, Eretmapodites, Mansonia, and Coquillettidia have been reported in Cameroon. Furthermore, the presence of 26 human and zoonotic arboviral diseases, one helminthic disease, and two protozoal diseases has been reported. Information on the bionomics, taxonomy, and distribution of mosquito species will be useful for the development of integrated vector management programmes for the surveillance and elimination of mosquito-borne diseases in Cameroon.
Mosquito-borne diseases are a major threat to public health. The shortcomings of diagnostic tools, especially those that are antibody-based, have been blamed in part for the rising annual morbidity and mortality caused by these diseases. Antibodies harbor a number of disadvantages that can be clearly addressed by aptamers as the more promising molecular recognition elements. Aptamers are defined as single-stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotides generated by SELEX that exhibit high binding affinity and specificity against a wide variety of target molecules based on their unique structural conformations. A number of aptamers were developed against mosquito-borne pathogens such as Dengue virus, Zika virus, Chikungunya virus, Plasmodium parasite, Francisella tularensis, Japanese encephalitis virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Rift Valley fever virus and Yellow fever virus. Intrigued by these achievements, we carry out a comprehensive overview of the aptamers developed against these mosquito-borne infectious agents. Characteristics of the aptamers and their roles in diagnostic, therapeutic as well as other applications are emphasized.
Molecular surveillance of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is important as it provides data on the circulating CHIKV genotypes in endemic countries and enabling activation of measures to be taken in the event of a pending outbreak. Molecular surveillance is carried out by first detecting CHIKV in susceptible humans or among field-caught mosquitoes. This is followed by sequencing a selected region of the virus which will provide evidence on the source of the virus and possible association of the virus to increased cases of Chikungunya infections.
Two hundred forty nucleotides from the pre-membrane gene region of 12 Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) strains isolated from three different regions of Malaysia from 1993 to 1994 were sequenced and compared with each other and with the JEV strains from different geographic areas in Asia. These 12 Malaysian isolates were classified into two genotypes. The four JEV strains isolated from Sarawak in 1994 and the four JEV strains isolated from Sepang, Selangor in 1993 were classified into one genotype that included earlier isolated strains from Malaysia (JE-827 from Sarawak in 1968 and WTP/70/22 from Kuala Lumpur in 1970). The four JEV strains from Ipoh, Perak in 1994 were classified into another genotype that included JEV strains isolated from northern Thailand and Cambodia. In an earlier report, 10 JEV strains from Sabak Bernam, Selangor in 1992 were classified into the largest genotype that included strains isolated in temperate regions such as Japan, China, and Taiwan. The data indicate that at least three genotypes of JEV have been circulating in Malaysia.
Dengue is a fast spreading mosquito-borne disease that affects more than half of the population worldwide. An unprecedented outbreak happened in Guangzhou, China in 2014, which contributed 52 percent of all dengue cases that occurred in mainland China between 1990 and 2015. Our previous analysis, based on a deterministic model, concluded that the early timing of the first imported case that triggered local transmission and the excessive rainfall thereafter were the most important determinants of the large final epidemic size in 2014. However, the deterministic model did not allow us to explore the driving force of the early local transmission. Here, we expand the model to include stochastic elements and calculate the successful invasion rate of cases that entered Guangzhou at different times under different climate and intervention scenarios. The conclusion is that the higher number of imported cases in May and June was responsible for the early outbreak instead of climate. Although the excessive rainfall in 2014 did increase the success rate, this effect was offset by the low initial water level caused by interventions in late 2013. The success rate is strongly dependent on mosquito abundance during the recovery period of the imported case, since the first step of a successful invasion is infecting at least one local mosquito. The average final epidemic size of successful invasion decreases exponentially with introduction time, which means if an imported case in early summer initiates the infection process, the final number infected can be extremely large. Therefore, dengue outbreaks occurring in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in early summer merit greater attention, since the travel volumes between Guangzhou and these countries are large. As the climate changes, destroying mosquito breeding sites in Guangzhou can mitigate the detrimental effects of the probable increase in rainfall in spring and summer.
The rapid detection of dengue infection in mosquito vectors is important for early warning to forestall an outbreak. Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) provides a rapid method for dengue detection in man and mosquitoes. An RT-PCR kit developed by the Medical Entomology Unit, Institute for Medical Research to detect dengue infection in mosquitoes, was tested for its shelf life at 3 storage temperatures: room temperature, refrigerator and freezer. Test kits were tested once every 3 days for kits stored at room temperature, and once every week for those stored at refrigerator and freezer temperatures. The results showed that the test kit could only be stored above its recommended storage temperature of -20 degrees C for not more than 3 days. DNA 100 bp markers in the kits appeared to be stable at the tested temperatures and were usable up to the 20th day when stored at 2 degrees C and below.