A high-risk Zika and dengue transmission hub: virus detections in mosquitoes at a Brazilian university campus.Parasit Vectors 2018; 11(1):359PV
Zika virus (ZIKV) and dengue virus (DENV) are mosquito-borne flaviviruses prevalent throughout tropical regions. Currently, management of ZIKV and DENV centers on control of the primary vector Aedes aegypti. This vector is highly anthropophilic and is therefore prevalent throughout densely urbanised landscapes. A new passive trap for gravid Ae. aegypti (Gravid Aedes Trap - GAT) was developed for mosquito surveillance. Here the different killing agents and the level of transmission of arboviruses that may occur in mosquitoes sampled by GATs are assessed for the first time.
Gravid Aedes traps (GATs) were deployed at the Federal University of Minas Gerais campus, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil to sample Ae. aegypti. Three different killing agents were evaluated within the GATs: sticky cards, long-lasting insecticide-impregnated nets (LLINs) and canola oil. Traps were monitored weekly for 14 weeks then mosquito specimens were identified to the species level and Ae. aegypti catches were pooled and submitted to qRT-PCR assays for to DENV and ZIKV virus detection, followed by Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of the ZIKV. Additionally, comparisons of means were performed on transformed weekly catch data (P = 0.05, t-tests) with the stats package of the R statistical software.
In total, 1506 female Ae. aegypti were captured using GATs, with traps using sticky cards catching more mosquito than those using either LLINs or canola oil. Both ZIKV and DENV were detected in Ae. aegypti females captured over several weeks suggesting that this highly populated university campus may have served as a significant transmission hub. The infection rate for ZIKV was present in seven (8.5%) pools from four weeks while DENV was detected in four (4.9%) pools from four weeks. Phylogenetic analysis of ZIKV classified the strain as Asian genotype.
The Federal University of Minas Gerais and similar organizations must strongly consider monitoring Ae. aegypti populations and reinforcing personal protection of staff and students during seasons of high mosquito activity.