Impact of mosquito age and insecticide exposure on susceptibility of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) to infection with Zika virus

Heidi Knecht, Stephanie L. Richards, Jo Anne G. Balanay, Avian V. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Zika virus (ZIKV) is primarily transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus. Vector–virus interactions influencing vector competence vary and depend on biological and environmental factors. A mosquito’s chronological age may impact its immune response against virus infection. Insecticides, source reduction, and/or public education are currently the best defense against mosquitoes that transmit ZIKV. This study assessed the effects of a mosquito’s chronological age at time of infection on its response to ZIKV infection. We exposed young (6–7 d post-emergence) and old (11–12 d post-emergence) Ae. albopictus to a sublethal dose of bifenthrin prior to oral exposure to blood meals containing ZIKV (7-day incubation period). Old mosquitoes experienced a significantly (p < 0.01) higher rate of mortality than young mosquitoes. Significantly higher ZIKV body titers (p < 0.01) were observed in the old control group compared to the young control group. Significantly higher (p < 0.01) ZIKV dissemination rates and leg titers (p < 0.01) were observed in old bifenthrin-exposed mosquitoes compared to old control mosquitoes or young bifenthrin-exposed or control mosquitoes. Hence, bifenthrin exposure may increase the potential for virus transmission; however, the degree of these impacts varies with mosquito age. Impacts of insecticides should be considered in risk assessments of potential vector populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
JournalPathogens
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Insecticides
  • Mosquito age
  • Vector competence
  • Zika

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