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      The combination of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae with the insecticide Imidacloprid increases virulence against the dengue vector Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)


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          Dengue fever transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, is one of the most rapidly spreading insect borne diseases, stimulating the search for alternatives to current control measures. The dengue vector A. aegypti has received less attention than anophelene species, although more than 2.5 billion people are at risk of infection worldwide. Entomopathogenic fungi are emerging as potential candidates for the control of mosquitoes. Here we continue our studies on the pathogenicity of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae against adult A. aegypti females. With the aim of further reducing mean survival times of A. aegypti exposed to fungus impregnated surfaces, a sub-lethal concentration of the neonicotinoid insecticide Imidacloprid (IMI) was added to fungal suspensions.


          A sub-lethal concentration of IMI that did not significantly alter the daily survival rates or mean survival percentages of mosquitoes was identified to be 0.1 ppm. This sub-lethal concentration was combined with M. anisopliae conidia (1 × 10 9 conidia mL -1). Both the combined treatment and the conidia alone were able to reduce the survival of A. aegypti compared with untreated or IMI treated mosquitoes. Importantly, mosquito survival following exposure to the combined treatment for 6 and 12 hrs was significantly reduced when compared with mosquitoes exposed to conidia alone.


          This is the first time that a combination of an insecticide and an entomopathogenic fungus has been tested against A. aegypti. Firstly, the study showed the potential of IMI as an alternative to the currently employed pyrethroid adulticides. Secondly, as an alternative to applications of high concentrations of chemical insecticides, we suggest that adult A. aegypti could be controlled by surface application of entomopathogenic fungi and that the efficiency of these fungi could be increased by combining the fungi with ultra-low concentrations of insecticides, resulting in higher mortality following relatively short exposure times.

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          Dengue virus type 2: replication and tropisms in orally infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

          Background To be transmitted by its mosquito vector, dengue virus (DENV) must infect midgut epithelial cells, replicate and disseminate into the hemocoel, and finally infect the salivary glands, which is essential for transmission. The extrinsic incubation period (EIP) is very relevant epidemiologically and is the time required from the ingestion of virus until it can be transmitted to the next vertebrate host. The EIP is conditioned by the kinetics and tropisms of virus replication in its vector. Here we document the virogenesis of DENV-2 in newly-colonized Aedes aegypti mosquitoes from Chetumal, Mexico in order to understand better the effect of vector-virus interactions on dengue transmission. Results After ingestion of DENV-2, midgut infections in Chetumal mosquitoes were characterized by a peak in virus titers between 7 and 10 days post-infection (dpi). The amount of viral antigen and viral titers in the midgut then declined, but viral RNA levels remained stable. The presence of DENV-2 antigen in the trachea was positively correlated with virus dissemination from the midgut. DENV-2 antigen was found in salivary gland tissue in more than a third of mosquitoes at 4 dpi. Unlike in the midgut, the amount of viral antigen (as well as the percent of infected salivary glands) increased with time. DENV-2 antigen also accumulated and increased in neural tissue throughout the EIP. DENV-2 antigen was detected in multiple tissues of the vector, but unlike some other arboviruses, was not detected in muscle. Conclusion Our results suggest that the EIP of DENV-2 in its vector may be shorter that the previously reported and that the tracheal system may facilitate DENV-2 dissemination from the midgut. Mosquito organs (e.g. midgut, neural tissue, and salivary glands) differed in their response to DENV-2 infection.
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            Fungal pathogen reduces potential for malaria transmission.

            Using a rodent malaria model, we found that exposure to surfaces treated with fungal entomopathogens following an infectious blood meal reduced the number of mosquitoes able to transmit malaria by a factor of about 80. Fungal infection, achieved through contact with both solid surfaces and netting for durations well within the typical post-feed resting periods, was sufficient to cause >90% mortality. Daily mortality rates escalated dramatically around the time of sporozoite maturation, and infected mosquitoes showed reduced propensity to blood feed. Residual sprays of fungal biopesticides might replace or supplement chemical insecticides for malaria control, particularly in areas of high insecticide resistance.
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              An entomopathogenic fungus for control of adult African malaria mosquitoes.

              Biological control of malaria mosquitoes in Africa has rarely been used in vector control programs. Recent developments in this field show that certain fungi are virulent to adult Anopheles mosquitoes. Practical delivery of an entomopathogenic fungus that infected and killed adult Anopheles gambiae, Africa's main malaria vector, was achieved in rural African village houses. An entomological inoculation rate model suggests that implementation of this vector control method, even at the observed moderate coverage during a field study in Tanzania, would significantly reduce malaria transmission intensity.

                Author and article information

                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central
                25 January 2011
                : 4
                : 8
                [1 ]Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Campos dos Goytacazes RJ CEP 28013-602 Brazil
                Copyright ©2011 Paula et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 22 October 2010
                : 25 January 2011



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