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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/physiology*
  2. Brant HL, Ewers RM, Vythilingam I, Drakeley C, Benedick S, Mumford JD
    Malar J, 2016 07 19;15(1):370.
    PMID: 27430261 DOI: 10.1186/s12936-016-1416-1
    BACKGROUND: Malaria cases caused by Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian parasite naturally found in long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques, are increasing rapidly in Sabah, Malaysia. One hypothesis is that this increase is associated with changes in land use. A study was carried out to identify the anopheline vectors present in different forest types and to observe the human landing behaviour of mosquitoes.

    METHODS: Mosquito collections were carried out using human landing catches at ground and canopy levels in the Tawau Division of Sabah. Collections were conducted along an anthropogenic disturbance gradient (primary forest, lightly logged virgin jungle reserve and salvage logged forest) between 18:00 and 22:00 h.

    RESULTS: Anopheles balabacensis, a vector of P. knowlesi, was the predominant species in all collection areas, accounting for 70 % of the total catch, with a peak landing time of 18:30-20:00 h. Anopheles balabacensis had a preference for landing on humans at ground level compared to the canopy (p mosquitoes were landing in the logged forest compared to the primary forest (p mosquito abundance in the logged forest and lightly logged forest (p = 0.554). A higher evening temperature (p mosquito abundance during collection nights.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the potential ability of An. balabacensis to transmit P. knowlesi between canopy-dwelling simian hosts and ground-dwelling humans, and that forest disturbance increases the abundance of this disease vector. These results, in combination with regional patterns of land use change, may partly explain the rapid rise in P. knowlesi cases in Sabah. This study provides essential data on anthropophily for the principal vector of P. knowlesi which is important for the planning of vector control strategies.

    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/physiology*
  3. Dieng H, Satho T, Binti Arzemi NA, Aliasan NE, Abang F, Wydiamala E, et al.
    Acta Trop, 2018 Sep;185:230-238.
    PMID: 29856985 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2018.05.019
    Food location by mosquitoes is mediated by resource-derived olfactory and visual signals. Smell sensation is intermittent and dependent on the environment, whereas visual signals are continual and precede olfactory cues. Success of mosquito bait technology, where olfactory cues are used for attraction, is being impeded by reduced attractiveness. Despite proof that mosquitoes respond to colored objects, including those mimicking floral shape, and that they can discriminate among flowers, the impacts of artificial flowers on foraging remain unexplored. Using artificial flowers with sugar rewards, we examined the foraging responses of Aedes aegypti to various colors in equal choice bioassays. Starved adults were exposed to single flowers with petals of a given color (Single Blue Flowers [SBFs]; Single Red Flowers [SRFs]; Single Yellow Flowers [SYFs]; Single Pink Flowers [SPIFs]; and Single Purple Flowers [SPFs]) and two others with white petals (SWFs). Discrepancies in response time, visitation, feeding, and resting of both sexes were compared between colored flowers and SWFs. Ae. aegypti exhibited shorter response times to colored flowers compared to SWFs, but this behavior was mostly seen for SBFs or SYFs in females, and SRFs, SYFs, SPIFs, or SPFs in males. When provided an option to land on colored flowers and SWFs, female visitation occurred at high rates on SBFs, SRFs, SYFs, SPIFs, and SPFs; for males, this preference for colored flowers was seen to a lesser degree on SBF and SPIFs. Both sexes exhibited preference for colored flowers as sugar sources, but with different patterns: SPIFs, SRFs, SYFs, and SPFs for females; SYFs, SPFs, SPIFs and SRFs for males. Females preferentially rested on colored flowers when in competition with SWFs, but this preference was more pronounced for SPFs, SRFs, and SBFs. Males exhibited an increased preference for SRFs, SPFs, and SYFs as resting sites. Our results indicated the attraction of Ae. aegypti to rewarding artificial flowers, in some cases in ways similar to live flowering plants. The discovery that both male and female Ae. aegypti can feed on nectar mimics held by artificial flowers opens new avenues for improving sugar bait technology and for developing new attract-and-kill devices.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/physiology*
  4. Hawkes F, Manin BO, Ng SH, Torr SJ, Drakeley C, Chua TH, et al.
    Parasit Vectors, 2017 Jul 18;10(1):338.
    PMID: 28720113 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-017-2277-3
    BACKGROUND: Plasmodium knowlesi is found in macaques and is the only major zoonotic malaria to affect humans. Transmission of P. knowlesi between people and macaques depends on the host species preferences and feeding behavior of mosquito vectors. However, these behaviours are difficult to measure due to the lack of standardized methods for sampling potential vectors attracted to different host species. This study evaluated electrocuting net traps as a safe, standardised method for sampling P. knowlesi vectors attracted to human and macaque hosts. Field experiments were conducted within a major focus on P. knowlesi transmission in Malaysian Borneo to compare the performance of human (HENET) or macaque (MENET) odour-baited electrocuting nets, human landing catches (HLC) and monkey-baited traps (MBT) for sampling mosquitoes. The abundance and diversity of Anopheles sampled by different methods were compared over 40 nights, with a focus on the P. knowlesi vector Anopheles balabancensis.

    RESULTS: HLC caught more An. balabacensis than any other method (3.6 per night). In contrast, no An. balabacensis were collected in MBT collections, which generally performed poorly for all mosquito taxa. Anopheles vector species including An. balabacensis were sampled in both HENET and MENET collections, but at a mean abundance of less than 1 per night. There was no difference between HENET and MENET in the overall abundance (P = 0.05) or proportion (P = 0.7) of An. balabacensis. The estimated diversity of Anopheles species was marginally higher in electrocuting net than HLC collections, and similar in collections made with humans or monkey hosts.

    CONCLUSIONS: Host-baited electrocuting nets had moderate success for sampling known zoonotic malaria vectors. The primary vector An. balabacensis was collected with electrocuting nets baited both with humans and macaques, but at a considerably lower density than the HLC standard. However, electrocuting nets were considerably more successful than monkey-baited traps and representatively characterised anopheline species diversity. Consequently, their use allows inferences about relative mosquito attraction to be meaningfully interpreted while eliminating confounding factors due to trapping method. On this basis, electrocuting net traps should be considered as a useful standardised method for investigating vector contact with humans and wildlife reservoirs.

    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/physiology*
  5. Muhammad NAF, Abu Kassim NF, Ab Majid AH, Abd Rahman A, Dieng H, Avicor SW
    PLoS One, 2020;15(11):e0241688.
    PMID: 33175896 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0241688
    Urbanization could potentially modify Aedes albopictus' ecology by changing the dynamics of the species, and affecting their breeding sites due to environmental changes, and thus contribute to dengue outbreaks. Thus, this study was conducted to evaluate the biting rhythm, fecundity and longevity of adult female Ae. albopictus in relation to urbanization strata; urban, suburban and rural areas in Penang Island, Malaysia. The experiments were done in comparison to a laboratory strain. Twenty-four hours biting activity of all the mosquito strains showed a clear bimodal biting activity, with morning and evening twilight peaks. The interaction effect between biting time and mosquito strains was not significant. Meanwhile, differences in fecundity among mosquito strains were statistically significant (F(3,442) = 10.559, P < 0.05) with urban areas having higher mean number of eggs (mean = 107.69, standard error = 3.98) than suburban (mean = 94.48, standard error = 5.18), and rural areas (mean = 72.52, standard error = 3.87). Longevity of adult females were significantly higher (F(3,441) = 31.259, P < 0.05) for mosquito strains from urban areas compared to the other strains. These findings would provide crucial information for the planning of control programs in Malaysia, particularly Penang.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/physiology
  6. Dieng H, Satho T, Abang F, Meli NKKB, Ghani IA, Nolasco-Hipolito C, et al.
    Acta Trop, 2017 May;169:84-92.
    PMID: 28174057 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2017.01.022
    In nature, adult mosquitoes typically utilize nectar as their main energy source, but they can switch to other as yet unidentified sugary fluids. Contemporary lifestyles, with their associated unwillingness to consume leftovers and improper disposal of waste, have resulted in the disposal of huge amounts of waste into the environment. Such refuse often contains unfinished food items, many of which contain sugar and some of which can collect water from rain and generate juices. Despite evidence that mosquitoes can feed on sugar-rich suspensions, semi-liquids, and decaying fruits, which can be abundant in garbage sites, the impacts of sweet waste fluids on dengue vectors are unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of extracts from some familiar sweet home waste items on key components of vectorial capacity of Aedes aegypti. Adult mosquitoes were fed one of five diets in this study: water (WAT); sucrose (SUG); bakery product (remnant of chocolate cake, BAK); dairy product (yogurt, YOG); and fruit (banana (BAN). Differences in survival, response time to host, and egg production were examined between groups. For both males and females, maintenance on BAK extract resulted in marked survival levels that were similar to those seen with SUG. Sweet waste extracts provided better substrates for survival compared to water, but this superiority was mostly seen with BAK. Females maintained on BAK, YOG, and BAN exhibited shorter response times to a host compared to their counterparts maintained on SUG. The levels of egg production were equivalent in waste extract- and SUG-fed females. The findings presented here illustrate the potential of sweet waste-derived fluids to contribute to the vectorial capacity of dengue vectors and suggest the necessity of readdressing the issue of waste disposal, especially that of unfinished sweet foods. Such approaches can be particularly relevant in dengue endemic areas where rainfall is frequent and waste collection infrequent.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/physiology*
  7. Brown R, Hing CT, Fornace K, Ferguson HM
    Parasit Vectors, 2018 Jun 14;11(1):346.
    PMID: 29898780 DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-2926-1
    BACKGROUND: Widespread deforestation occurring in the tropics is hypothesized to impact the transmission of vector-borne diseases (VBD). Predicting how environmental changes will impact VBD transmission is dependent on understanding the ecology and behaviour of potential vector species outside of domestic settings. However there are few reliable sampling tools for measuring the habitat preference and host choice of mosquito vectors; with almost none suitable for sampling recently blood-fed, resting mosquitoes. This study evaluated the use of two mosquito traps: the resting bucket (RB) and sticky resting bucket (SRB) traps relative to CDC backpack aspiration (CDC) for sampling mosquitoes resting in a range of habitats representing a gradient of deforestation. Eight habitats were selected for sampling around two villages in Kudat District, Malaysian Borneo, to reflect the range of habitats available to mosquitoes in and around human dwellings, and nearby forest habitats where reservoir hosts are present: secondary forest (edge, interior and canopy); plantations (palm and rubber); and human settlements (inside, under and around houses).

    RESULTS: Over 31 days, 2243 mosquitoes were collected in 5748 discrete collections. Nine mosquito genera were sampled with Aedes and Culex species being present in all habitats and most abundant. RB and CDC backpack aspiration were most efficient for sampling Culex whereas CDC backpack aspiration and SRB were most efficient for Aedes. Most Aedes identified to species level were Ae. albopictus (91%), with their abundance being highest in forest edge habitats. In contrast, Culex were most abundant under houses. Most blood-fed mosquitoes (76%) were found in human settlements; with humans and chickens being the only blood source.

    CONCLUSIONS: RB and SRB traps proved capable of sampling mosquitoes resting in all sampled habitats. However, sampling efficiency was generally low (c.0.1 per trap per day), necessitating traps to be deployed in high numbers for mosquito detection. None of the traps were effective for sampling zoonotic malaria vectors; however, SRB collected relatively higher numbers of the dengue vector Ae. albopictus. The higher abundance of mosquitoes in forest edge habitats indicates the potential value of these traps for investigating sylvatic dengue transmission. This study has demonstrated the merits in application of simple resting traps for characterising mosquito vector resting behaviour outside of the home.

    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/physiology*
  8. Shafie A, Roslan MA, Ngui R, Lim YA, Sulaiman WY
    J. Am. Mosq. Control Assoc., 2016 Dec;32(4):273-281.
    PMID: 28206867 DOI: 10.2987/16-6604.1
    Mosquito-borne diseases have been increasing at an alarming rate over the past decades. In Malaysia, one finds several important mosquito-borne diseases such as Japanese encephalitis, dengue, malaria, and chikungunya. Mosquito surveillance and control programs are the most effective way of detecting and controlling mosquito-borne diseases, but these programs are less effective without an aware and well-informed general public. In 2014 we used a questionnaire to evaluate the extent of awareness of basic mosquito biology and mosquito-borne diseases in 6 villages, Kampung Masjid, Kampung Teluk Gedung, Kampung Teluk Dalam, Kampung Ujung Kelawai, Kampung Sungai Pinang Besar, and Kampung Sungai Pinang Kechil on Pangkor Island, Malaysia. A total of 1,012 individuals responded to the questionnaire, consisting of 790 Malay (78.1%), 164 Chinese (16.2%), and 58 Indian (5.7%). More than 60% (Malay = 73.7%, Chinese = 64.0%, Indian = 79.3%) of the respondents were familiar with basic mosquito biology and practiced personal protection against mosquito bites, and the association was statistically significant (P = 0.02). However, the majority of the respondents had limited knowledge on mosquito-borne diseases, and this varied significantly among the 3 ethnic groups (P = 0.0001). Our recommendations are to improve and intensify public health education outreach programs to the island residents and to encourage community participation in vector control programs.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/physiology*
  9. Dieng H, Satho T, Suradi NFB, Hakim H, Abang F, Aliasan NE, et al.
    Acta Trop, 2017 Dec;176:446-454.
    PMID: 28865898 DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2017.08.033
    In dengue vector control, attempts to minimize or replace the use of pesticides have mostly involved use of predators, but success has been severely impeded by difficulties associated with financial and environmental costs, predator mass production, and persistence in target habitats. Visual deterrents have been used successfully to control animal pests, in some cases in an effort to replace pesticide use. Despite evidence that visual signals are crucial in site choice for egg deposition by dengue vectors, and that female mosquitoes respond to artificial predation, the role of predator intimidation as it affects the oviposition behavior of dengue vectors remains largely unexplored. Here, we examined the oviposition responses of Aedes aegypti exposed to various mosquito predator pictures. Gravid females were presented with equal opportunities to oviposit in two cups with predator images [Toxorhynchites splendens-TXI, Goldfish (Carassius auratus)-small (SFI) and large (LFI) and Tx. splendens+Goldfish-TXFI] and two others without pictures. Differences in egg deposition were examined between sites with and without these images. When given a chance to oviposit in cups with and without TXI, Ae. aegypti females were similarly attracted to both sites. When provided an opportunity to oviposit in cups displaying pictures of fish (SFI or LFI) and blank cups, egg deposition rates were much lower in the fish picture sites. Females showed a preference for blank cups over TXFI for egg deposition. They also equally avoided cups with pictures of fish, regardless of the size of the picture. Our results indicate that the presence of images of goldfish and their association with Tx. larvae significantly reduced egg deposition by Ae. aegypti, and this was not the case with the predatory larvae alone. The observations that the images of natural predators can repel gravid females of a dengue vector provide novel possibilities to develop effective and inexpensive alternative tools to harmful insecticides.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/physiology*
  10. 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/physiology*
  11. Murugan K, Wei J, Alsalhi MS, Nicoletti M, Paulpandi M, Samidoss CM, et al.
    Parasitol Res, 2017 Feb;116(2):495-502.
    PMID: 27815736 DOI: 10.1007/s00436-016-5310-0
    A main challenge in parasitology is the development of reliable tools to prevent or treat mosquito-borne diseases. We investigated the toxicity of magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) produced by Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense (strain MSR-1) on chloroquine-resistant (CQ-r) and sensitive (CQ-s) Plasmodium falciparum, dengue virus (DEN-2), and two of their main vectors, Anopheles stephensi and Aedes aegypti, respectively. MNP were studied by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. They were toxic to larvae and pupae of An. stephensi, LC50 ranged from 2.563 ppm (1st instar larva) to 6.430 ppm (pupa), and Ae. aegypti, LC50 ranged from 3.231 ppm (1st instar larva) to 7.545 ppm (pupa). MNP IC50 on P. falciparum were 83.32 μg ml(-1) (CQ-s) and 87.47 μg ml(-1) (CQ-r). However, the in vivo efficacy of MNP on Plasmodium berghei was low if compared to CQ-based treatments. Moderate cytotoxicity was detected on Vero cells post-treatment with MNP doses lower than 4 μg ml(-1). MNP evaluated at 2-8 μg ml(-1) inhibited DEN-2 replication inhibiting the expression of the envelope (E) protein. In conclusion, our findings represent the first report about the use of MNP in medical and veterinary entomology, proposing them as suitable materials to develop reliable tools to combat mosquito-borne diseases.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/physiology
  12. Murphy A, Rajahram GS, Jilip J, Maluda M, William T, Hu W, et al.
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 2020 05;14(5):e0007504.
    PMID: 32392222 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007504
    In South East Asia, dengue epidemics have increased in size and geographical distribution in recent years. We examined the spatiotemporal distribution and epidemiological characteristics of reported dengue cases in the predominantly rural state of Sabah, in Malaysian Borneo-an area where sylvatic and urban circulation of pathogens are known to intersect. Using a public health data set of routinely notified dengue cases in Sabah between 2010 and 2016, we described demographic and entomological risk factors, both before and after a 2014 change in the clinical case definition for the disease. Annual dengue incidence rates were spatially variable over the 7-year study period from 2010-2016 (state-wide mean annual incidence of 21 cases/100,000 people; range 5-42/100,000), but were highest in rural localities in the western districts of the state (Kuala Penyu, Nabawan, Tenom and Kota Marudu). Eastern districts exhibited lower overall dengue rates, although a high proportion of severe (haemorrhagic) dengue cases (44%) were focused in Sandakan and Tawau. Dengue incidence was highest for those aged between 10 and 29 years (24/100,000), and was slightly higher for males compared to females. Available vector surveillance data indicated that during large outbreaks in 2015 and 2016 the mosquito Aedes albopictus was more prevalent in both urban and rural households (House Index of 64%) than Ae. aegypti (15%). Demographic patterns remained unchanged both before and after the dengue case definition was changed; however, in the years following the change, reported case numbers increased substantially. Overall, these findings suggest that dengue outbreaks in Sabah are increasing in both urban and rural settings. Future studies to better understand the drivers of risk in specific age groups, genders and geographic locations, and to test the potential role of Ae. albopictus in transmission, may help target dengue prevention and control efforts.
    Matched MeSH terms: Mosquito Vectors/physiology
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