Two mosquitos known to transmit Zika found in Windsor-Essex trap

08 Juin, 2018, 04:38 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Auburn University graduate student Benjamin Mc Kenzie dips for mosquito larvae for molecular research including virus testing

"Our CDC-funded research has not only allowed for the detection and molecular confirmation of the mosquito in the state, but over the past year we have documented the spread of the mosquito from central Mobile to all of Mobile County", Zohdy said in an Auburn news release.

Auburn University researchers have discovered the presence of Aedes aegypti - the primary mosquito that transmits Zika virus, yellow fever and other flaviviruses - in Alabama.

Though Zika virus is primarily spread by infected Aedes species mosquitoes, the disease can also be transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person or from an infected pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or at birth. Zohdy said that due to their research efforts and the discovery of Ae. aegypti, her team is now working with the Alabama Department of Public Health. She's also an entomologist who has worked in Mobile County, so she's familiar with the area's mosquito-friendly territory.

The whole region is suitable aegypti habitat, Stevens said, and they've been here before. "Alabama has had little mosquito surveillance in the past and we hope this app can change that to make it the best sampled state in the nation", Zohdy said. An abstract for the Auburn study notes that "interactions between these two species often result in displacement of Ae. aegypti". Stevens said there are a variety or reason that can happen. That means fewer aegypti mosquito larvae (yay) to compete with the next generation of albopictus (boo).

The concern is the Asian tiger (Aedes albopictus) mosquito may have established here and survived the winter but that's not clear yet, Ahmed said.

The study was conducted from July 2016 to September 2017. Mosquitoes were collected twice a month from the grounds of various tire shops, gas stations, abandoned buildings and open containers quantified to estimate larval abundance.

Unlike many Ontario mosquitoes, Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters, with peaks in activity in the early morning and late afternoon.

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Stevens said aegypti are more effective than albopictus at transferring Zika to people.

However, they both tested negative for either virus.

Thus far, Stevens said, all cases of Zika confirmed in Alabama have been attributed to exposure during global travel. From this recording, the app can identify the species of mosquito and whether or not that species could potentially carry a disease by the sound of the buzzing of its wings.

The bottom line is that the things you should do to avoid an aegypti bite are all the same things you already should be doing to avoid mosquito bites in general.

Zohdy's team is now conducting research in all 67 counties in Alabama to determine how widespread Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus are across the state.

The Alabama Department of Public Health website has a page dedicated to mosquito-borne illnesses and preventive measures.

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