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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 295-300

Aedes vittatus (Bigot) mosquito: An emerging threat to public health

ICMR–National Institute of Virology, Microbial Containment Complex, Pune, India

Correspondence Address:
A B Sudeep
ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Microbial Containment Complex, Sus Road, Pashan, Pune–411 021
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.225833

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Aedes vittatus (Bigot) mosquito is a voracious biter of humans and has a geographical distribution throughout tropical Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean region of Europe. It is predominantly a rock-hole breeder, though it can breed in diverse macro- and micro-habitats. The mosquito plays an important role in the maintenance and transmission of yellow fever (YFV), dengue (DENV), chikungunya (CHIKV) and Zika (ZIKV) viruses. It has been implicated as an important vector of YFV in several African countries as evidenced by repeated virus isolations from the mosquito and its potential to transmit the virus experimentally. Similarly, DENV-2 has been isolated from wild caught Ae. vittatus mosquitoes in Senegal, Africa which has been shown to circulate the virus in sylvatic populations without causing human infection. Experimental studies have shown replication of the virus at a low scale in naturally infected mosquitoes while high rate of infection and dissemination have been reported in parenterally infected mosquitoes. Natural isolation of ZIKV has been reported from Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire from these mosquitoes. They were found highly competent to transmit the virus experimentally and the transmission rate is at par with Ae. leuteocephalus, the primary vector of ZIKV. A few CHIKV isolations have also been reported from the mosquitoes in Senegal and other countries in Africa. Experimental studies have demonstrated high susceptibility, early dissemination and efficient transmission of CHIKV by Ae. vittatus mosquitoes. The mosquitoes with their high susceptibility and competence to transmit important viruses, viz. YFV, DENV, CHIKV and ZIKV pose a major threat to public health due to their abundance and anthropophilic behaviour.

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