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  1. Vythilingam I, Wong ML, Wan-Yussof WS
    Parasitology, 2018 01;145(1):32-40.
    PMID: 27222102 DOI: 10.1017/S0031182016000901
    Plasmodium knowlesi a simian malaria parasite is currently affecting humans in Southeast Asia. Malaysia has reported the most number of cases and P. knowlesi is the predominant species occurring in humans. The vectors of P. knowlesi belong to the Leucosphyrus group of Anopheles mosquitoes. These are generally described as forest-dwelling mosquitoes. With deforestation and changes in land-use, some species have become predominant in farms and villages. However, knowledge on the distribution of these vectors in the country is sparse. From a public health point of view it is important to know the vectors, so that risk factors towards knowlesi malaria can be identified and control measures instituted where possible. Here, we review what is known about the knowlesi malaria vectors and ascertain the gaps in knowledge, so that future studies could concentrate on this paucity of data in-order to address this zoonotic problem.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/parasitology
  2. Chua TH, Manin BO, Vythilingam I, Fornace K, Drakeley CJ
    Parasit Vectors, 2019 Jul 25;12(1):364.
    PMID: 31345256 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-019-3627-0
    BACKGROUND: We investigated the effect of five common habitat types on the diversity and abundance of Anopheles spp. and on the biting rate and time of Anopheles balabacensis (currently the only known vector for Plasmodium knowlesi in Sabah) at Paradason village, Kudat, Sabah. The habitats were forest edge, playground area, longhouse, oil palm plantation and shrub-bushes area. Sampling of Anopheles was done monthly using the human landing catch method in all habitat types for 14 months (October 2013 to December 2014, excluding June 2014). The Anopheles species were morphologically identified and subjected to PCR assay for the detection of Plasmodium parasites. Generalised linear mixed models (GLMM) were applied to test the variation in abundance and biting rates of An. balabacensis in different habitat types.

    RESULTS: A total of 1599 Anopheles specimens were collected in the village, of which about 90% were An. balabacensis. Anopheles balabacensis was present throughout the year and was the dominant Anopheles species in all habitat types. The shrub bushes habitat had the highest Anopheles species diversity while forest edge had the greatest number of Anopheles individuals caught. GLMM analysis indicated that An. balabacensis abundance was not affected by the type of habitats, and it was more active during the early and late night compared to predawn and dawn. PCR assay showed that 1.61% of the tested An. balabacensis were positive for malaria parasites, most of which were caught in oil palm estates and infected with one to two Plasmodium species.

    CONCLUSIONS: The identification of infected vectors in a range of habitats, including agricultural and farming areas, illustrates the potential for humans to be exposed to P. knowlesi outside forested areas. This finding contributes to a growing body of evidence implicating environmental changes due to deforestation, expansion of agricultural and farming areas, and development of human settlements near to forest fringes in the emergence of P. knowlesi in Sabah.

    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/parasitology
  3. Özbilgin A, Çavuş İ, Yıldırım A, Gündüz C
    Mikrobiyol Bul, 2016 Jul;50(3):484-90.
    PMID: 27525405
    Plasmodium knowlesi is now added to the known four Plasmodium species (P.vivax, P.falciparum, P.malariae, P.ovale) as a cause of malaria in humans because of the recent increasing rate of cases reported from countries of southeastern Asia. P.knowlesi which infects macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis and M.nemestrina) is transmitted to humans especially by Anopheles leucosphyrus and An.hackeri mosquitos. First human cases of P.knowlesi malaria have been detected in Malaysia which have reached high numbers in recent years and also have been reported from countries of Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. However the number of cases reported from western countries are rare and limited only within voyagers. This report is the first presentation of an imported case of P.knowlesi malaria in Turkey and aims to draw attention to the point that it could also be detected in future. A 33-year-old male patient from Myanmar who has migrated to Turkey as a refugee, was admitted to a health center with the complaints of fever with a periodicity of 24 hours, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, anorexia, myalgia and arthralgia. He was prediagnosed as upper respiratory tract infection, however because of his periodical fever and background in Myanmar, thick and thin blood films were prepared and sent to our laboratory for further examinations. Microscopic examination of the thin blood films revealed erythrocytic stages compatible with P.knowlesi (three large early trophozoites in an erythrocyte, three late trophozoites with compact view, and three late band-form trophozoites). Upon this, both real-time polymerase chain reaction (Rt-PCR) targeting the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) genes of Plasmodium genus and DNA sequence analysis targeting P.knowlesi rRNA gene were performed. As a result, the suspected identification of P.knowlesi by microscopy was confirmed by Rt-PCR and DNA sequencing. The patient was treated with chloroquine and primaquine combination and in the follow-up on the seventh day after the treatment, his parasitemia and symptoms had ceased. Although there were some previous reports concerning about imported patients infected with different Plasmodium species in our country, no cases of P.knowlesi have been reported. This first case presented here emphasizes the occurence of P.knowlesi malaria in Turkey hereinafter due to the increasing number of refugees.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/parasitology
  4. Ismail BA, Kafy HT, Sulieman JE, Subramaniam K, Thomas B, Mnzava A, et al.
    Parasit Vectors, 2018 03 02;11(1):122.
    PMID: 29499751 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-2732-9
    BACKGROUND: Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) (with pyrethroids) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) are the cornerstones of the Sudanese malaria control program. Insecticide resistance to the principal insecticides in LLINs and IRS is a major concern. This study was designed to monitor insecticide resistance in Anopheles arabiensis from 140 clusters in four malaria-endemic areas of Sudan from 2011 to 2014. All clusters received LLINs, while half (n = 70), distributed across the four regions, had additional IRS campaigns.

    METHODS: Anopheles gambiae (s.l.) mosquitoes were identified to species level using PCR techniques. Standard WHO insecticide susceptibility bioassays were carried out to detect resistance to deltamethrin (0.05%), DDT (4%) and bendiocarb (0.1%). TaqMan assays were performed on random samples of deltamethrin-resistant phenotyped and pyrethrum spray collected individuals to determine Vgsc-1014 knockdown resistance mutations.

    RESULTS: Anopheles arabiensis accounted for 99.9% of any anopheline species collected across all sites. Bioassay screening indicated that mosquitoes remained susceptible to bendiocarb but were resistance to deltamethrin and DDT in all areas. There were significant increases in deltamethrin resistance over the four years, with overall mean percent mortality to deltamethrin declining from 81.0% (95% CI: 77.6-84.3%) in 2011 to 47.7% (95% CI: 43.5-51.8%) in 2014. The rate of increase in phenotypic deltamethrin-resistance was significantly slower in the LLIN + IRS arm than in the LLIN-only arm (Odds ratio 1.34; 95% CI: 1.02-1.77). The frequency of Vgsc-1014F mutation varied spatiotemporally with highest frequencies in Galabat (range 0.375-0.616) and New Halfa (range 0.241-0.447). Deltamethrin phenotypic-resistance correlated with Vgsc-1014F frequency.

    CONCLUSION: Combining LLIN and IRS, with different classes of insecticide, may delay pyrethroid resistance development, but the speed at which resistance develops may be area-specific. Continued monitoring is vital to ensure optimal management and control.

    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/parasitology
  5. Krishnan J, Mathiarasan L
    J Vector Borne Dis, 2019 1 9;55(3):189-196.
    PMID: 30618444 DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.249127
    Background & objectives: : Increase of vector-borne diseases (VBDs) in India has posed a question on the situation in Lakshadweep Islands, where VBDs are reported from time-to-time. The present investigation was aimed to assess the faunastic situation of the prevailing vectors along with their breeding sites in different islands of the Lakshadweep.

    Methods: : Extensive surveys were carried out from November 2017 to January 2018 (post-monsoon season) randomly in the nine inhabited islands of Lakshadweep for conducting faunastic studies on mosquitoes and to know the basic binomics like breeding and resting preference of mosquitoes. The study islands included, Kavaratti, Agatti, Chetlat, Bitra, Amini, Kadmath, Andrott, Kalpeni and Kiltan. Both immature and adult collections were carried out by standard/appropriate sampling techniques. The obtained data were calculated and analysed in terms of different entomological indices.

    Results: : A total of 3356 mosquitoes were collected during the study period which comprised of 16 species from nine genera. Out of the 16 species, six belonged to mosquito vectors. The collection included malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi; Japanese encephalitis vector, Culex tritaeniorhynchus; Bancroftian filariasis vector, Cx. quinquefasciatus; Brugian filariasis vector, Mansonia uniformis; and dengue and chikungunya vectors, Stegomya albopicta and St. aegypti. Stegomya albopicta was the most predominant species observed constituting 54% of the catch, followed by Cx. quinquefasciatus, An. stephensi, Cx. tritaeniorhynchus, and St. aegypti constituting 10.5, 6, 3 and 1.2%, respectively. Apart from vector species many non-vectors such as Heizmannia chandi, An. subpictus, An. varuna, Cx. sitiens, Cx. minutissimus, Cx. rubithoracis, Fredwardsius vittatus, Lutzia fuscana, Malaya genurostris and Armigeres subalbatus were also present in the study area. In Kavaratti Island, the capital of Lakshadweep, a non-vector species of sandfly, Sergentomyia (Parrotomyia) babu was observed during the indoor resting collection. The major breeding sites which supported various mosquito species included, discarded plastic containers, tree holes, open sintex tanks (water storage tanks), unused wells, discarded tyres, discarded iron pots, unused and damaged boats, cement tanks, pleated plastic sheets, coral holes, pits and irrigation canals, discarded washing machines, and Colocasia plant leaf axils. Breteau index ranged between 65.3 and 110, CI ranged between 63.64 and 72.41; and HI ranged between 38.46 and 70 among the various islands.

    Interpretation & conclusion: : Entomological indices such as house index (HI), breteau index (BI) and pupal index (PI) were high in all the nine islands and exceeded the threshold levels specified by WHO, indicating high risk for dengue virus transmission in case of outbreaks. Occurrence of vector as well as non-vector species indicates that the global change in climate is causing notable changes in terms of breeding of vector and non-vector species in the islands. With the reported cases of VBDs and the presence of vectors species in Lakshadweep Islands, a stringent control measure needs to be implemented at the Lakshadweep Islands.

    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/parasitology*
  6. Junaid OQ, Vythilingam I, Khaw LT, Sivanandam S, Mahmud R
    Parasitol Res, 2020 Apr;119(4):1301-1315.
    PMID: 32179986 DOI: 10.1007/s00436-020-06632-4
    Malaria and lymphatic filariasis (LF) are two leading and common mosquito-borne parasitic diseases worldwide. These two diseases are co-endemic in many tropical and sub-tropical regions and are known to share vectors. The interactions between malaria and filarial parasites are poorly understood. Thus, this study aimed at establishing the interactions that occur between Brugia pahangi and Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA) co-infection in gerbils. Briefly, the gerbils were matched according to age, sex, and weight and grouped into filarial-only infection, PbA-only infection, co-infection, and control group. The parasitemia, survival and clinical assessment of the gerbils were monitored for a period of 30 days post Plasmodium infection. The immune responses of gerbils to both mono and co-infection were monitored. Findings show that co-infected gerbils have higher survival rate than PbA-infected gerbils. Food and water consumption were significantly reduced in both PbA-infected and co-infected gerbils, although loss of body weight, hypothermia, and anemia were less severe in co-infected gerbils. Plasmodium-infected gerbils also suffered hypoglycemia, which was not observed in co-infected gerbils. Furthermore, gerbil cytokine responses to co-infection were significantly higher than PbA-only-infected gerbils, which is being suggested as a factor for their increased longevity. Co-infected gerbils had significantly elicited interleukin-4, interferon-gamma, and tumor necrotic factor at early stage of infection than PbA-infected gerbils. Findings from this study suggest that B. pahangi infection protect against severe anemia and hypoglycemia, which are manifestations of PbA infection.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/parasitology
  7. Brown R, Chua TH, Fornace K, Drakeley C, Vythilingam I, Ferguson HM
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 2020 09;14(9):e0008617.
    PMID: 32886679 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0008617
    The zoonotic malaria parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi, is now a substantial public health problem in Malaysian Borneo. Current understanding of P. knowlesi vector bionomics and ecology in Sabah comes from a few studies near the epicentre of human cases in one district, Kudat. These have incriminated Anopheles balabacensis as the primary vector, and suggest that human exposure to vector biting is peri-domestic as well as in forest environments. To address the limited understanding of vector ecology and human exposure risk outside of Kudat, we performed wider scale surveillance across four districts in Sabah with confirmed transmission to investigate spatial heterogeneity in vector abundance, diversity and infection rate. Entomological surveillance was carried out six months after a cross-sectional survey of P. knowlesi prevalence in humans throughout the study area; providing an opportunity to investigate associations between entomological indicators and infection. Human-landing catches were performed in peri-domestic, farm and forest sites in 11 villages (3-4 per district) and paired with estimates of human P. knowlesi exposure based on sero-prevalence. Anopheles balabacensis was present in all districts but only 6/11 villages. The mean density of An. balabacensis was relatively low, but significantly higher in farm (0.094/night) and forest (0.082/night) than peri-domestic areas (0.007/night). Only one An. balabacensis (n = 32) was infected with P. knowlesi. Plasmodium knowlesi sero-positivity in people was not associated with An. balabacensis density at the village-level however post hoc analyses indicated the study had limited power to detect a statistical association due low vector density. Wider scale sampling revealed substantial heterogeneity in vector density and distribution between villages and districts. Vector-habitat associations predicted from this larger-scale surveillance differed from those inferred from smaller-scale studies in Kudat; highlighting the importance of local ecological context. Findings highlight potential trade-offs between maximizing temporal versus spatial breadth when designing entomological surveillance; and provide baseline entomological and epidemiological data to inform future studies of entomological risk factors for human P. knowlesi infection.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/parasitology*
  8. Riveron JM, Ibrahim SS, Mulamba C, Djouaka R, Irving H, Wondji MJ, et al.
    G3 (Bethesda), 2017 06 07;7(6):1819-1832.
    PMID: 28428243 DOI: 10.1534/g3.117.040147
    Pyrethroid resistance in malaria vector, An. funestus is increasingly reported across Africa, threatening the sustainability of pyrethroid-based control interventions, including long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs). Managing this problem requires understanding of the molecular basis of the resistance from different regions of the continent, to establish whether it is being driven by a single or independent selective events. Here, using a genome-wide transcription profiling of pyrethroid resistant populations from southern (Malawi), East (Uganda), and West Africa (Benin), we investigated the molecular basis of resistance, revealing strong differences between the different African regions. The duplicated cytochrome P450 genes (CYP6P9a and CYP6P9b) which were highly overexpressed in southern Africa are not the most upregulated in other regions, where other genes are more overexpressed, including GSTe2 in West (Benin) and CYP9K1 in East (Uganda). The lack of directional selection on both CYP6P9a and CYP6P9b in Uganda in contrast to southern Africa further supports the limited role of these genes outside southern Africa. However, other genes such as the P450 CYP9J11 are commonly overexpressed in all countries across Africa. Here, CYP9J11 is functionally characterized and shown to confer resistance to pyrethroids and moderate cross-resistance to carbamates (bendiocarb). The consistent overexpression of GSTe2 in Benin is coupled with a role of allelic variation at this gene as GAL4-UAS transgenic expression in Drosophila flies showed that the resistant 119F allele is highly efficient in conferring both DDT and permethrin resistance than the L119. The heterogeneity in the molecular basis of resistance and cross-resistance to insecticides in An. funestus populations throughout sub-Saharan African should be taken into account in designing resistance management strategies.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/parasitology
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