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Geographic Expansion of the Invasive Mosquito Aedes albopictus across Panama—Implications for Control of Dengue and Chikungunya Viruses

1 , 2 , 1 , 2 , 3 , *

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Public Library of Science

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      Spread of the tiger: global risk of invasion by the mosquito Aedes albopictus.

      Aedes albopictus, commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito, is currently the most invasive mosquito in the world. It is of medical importance due to its aggressive daytime human-biting behavior and ability to vector many viruses, including dengue, LaCrosse, and West Nile. Invasions into new areas of its potential range are often initiated through the transportation of eggs via the international trade in used tires. We use a genetic algorithm, Genetic Algorithm for Rule Set Production (GARP), to determine the ecological niche of Ae. albopictus and predict a global ecological risk map for the continued spread of the species. We combine this analysis with risk due to importation of tires from infested countries and their proximity to countries that have already been invaded to develop a list of countries most at risk for future introductions and establishments. Methods used here have potential for predicting risks of future invasions of vectors or pathogens.
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        Consequences of the Expanding Global Distribution of Aedes albopictus for Dengue Virus Transmission

        The dramatic global expansion of Aedes albopictus in the last three decades has increased public health concern because it is a potential vector of numerous arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), including the most prevalent arboviral pathogen of humans, dengue virus (DENV). Ae. aegypti is considered the primary DENV vector and has repeatedly been incriminated as a driving force in dengue's worldwide emergence. What remains unresolved is the extent to which Ae. albopictus contributes to DENV transmission and whether an improved understanding of its vector status would enhance dengue surveillance and prevention. To assess the relative public health importance of Ae. albopictus for dengue, we carried out two complementary analyses. We reviewed its role in past dengue epidemics and compared its DENV vector competence with that of Ae. aegypti. Observations from “natural experiments” indicate that, despite seemingly favorable conditions, places where Ae. albopictus predominates over Ae. aegypti have never experienced a typical explosive dengue epidemic with severe cases of the disease. Results from a meta-analysis of experimental laboratory studies reveal that although Ae. albopictus is overall more susceptible to DENV midgut infection, rates of virus dissemination from the midgut to other tissues are significantly lower in Ae. albopictus than in Ae. aegypti. For both indices of vector competence, a few generations of mosquito colonization appear to result in a relative increase of Ae. albopictus susceptibility, which may have been a confounding factor in the literature. Our results lead to the conclusion that Ae. albopictus plays a relatively minor role compared to Ae. aegypti in DENV transmission, at least in part due to differences in host preferences and reduced vector competence. Recent examples of rapid arboviral adaptation to alternative mosquito vectors, however, call for cautious extrapolation of our conclusion. Vector status is a dynamic process that in the future could change in epidemiologically important ways.
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          The epidemiology of dengue in the americas over the last three decades: a worrisome reality.

          We have reported the epidemic patterns of dengue disease in the Region of the Americas from 1980 through 2007. Dengue cases reported to the Pan American Health Organization were analyzed from three periods: 1980-1989 (80s), 1990-1999 (90s), and 2000-2007 (2000-7). Age distribution data were examined from Brazil, Venezuela, Honduras, and Mexico. Cases increased over time: 1,033,417 (80s) to 2,725,405 (90s) to 4,759,007 (2000-7). The highest concentrations were reported in the Hispanic Caribbean (39.1%) in the 80s shifting to the Southern Cone in the 90s (55%) and 2000-7 (62.9%). From 1980 through 1987, 242 deaths were reported compared with 1,391 during 2000-7. The most frequently isolated serotypes were DENV-1 and DENV-2 (90s) and DENV-2 and DENV-3 (2000-7). The highest incidence was observed among adolescents and young adults; dengue hemorrhagic fever incidence was highest among infants in Venezuela. Increasing dengue morbidity/mortality was observed in the Americas in recent decades.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama
            [2 ]Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología, Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá
            [3 ]Programa Centroamericano de Maestría en Entomología, Vicerrectoría de Investigación y Postgrado, Universidad de Panamá, Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá
            Australian National University, AUSTRALIA
            Author notes

            The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

            Contributors
            Role: Editor
            Journal
            PLoS Negl Trop Dis
            PLoS Negl Trop Dis
            plos
            plosntds
            PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
            1935-2727
            1935-2735
            January 2015
            8 January 2015
            : 9
            : 1
            25569303
            4287627
            PNTD-D-14-01284
            10.1371/journal.pntd.0003383
            (Editor)

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

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            Figures: 2, Tables: 1, Pages: 7
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            Funding
            JRL’s field work was supported by INDICASAT-AIP, STRI, and a National Research Investigator award (SNI) from the Panama’s Secretariat for Science and Technology (SENACYT). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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            Infectious disease & Microbiology

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