Zika mosquitoes quickly invade, adapt to new climates

The mosquito species, which also transmits yellow fever and chikungunya, has reached as far north as northern California and southern Georgia, a professor at Yale University said.

By: PTI | Washington | Published:November 27, 2016 1:52 pm
Zika, zika infection, zika re infection, zika study, zika research, zika virus, health study, health news, indian express Representational Picture

The Zika-bearing mosquito Aedes aegypti is not only spreading rapidly but has shown a remarkable ability to adapt quickly to different locales and climates, according to a new study.

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The mosquito species, which also transmits yellow fever and chikungunya, has reached as far north as northern California and southern Georgia, said Jeffrey Powell, professor at Yale University in the US. A pocket of overwintering mosquitoes was also discovered in Washington DC, researchers said.

“This is a dynamic species that is changing rapidly as it adapts to human activities,” Powell said. For instance, Aedes aegypti apparently survives colder winters in Washington DC by entering sewers, which it does not do in other habitats.

In California, the drought may have driven mosquitoes to more populated areas with water sources such as swimming pools. The species often hitchhikes on products such as ornamental plants or used tires, which are shipped to other parts of the world.

A more benign and close genetic cousin found mostly in sub-Saharan Africa appears to be interbreeding with its more aggressive relative, increasing the risk for the spread of yellow fever in those areas, researchers said. Powell and colleagues at Yale are studying genetics of the mosquitoes to pinpoint their source of origin.

“We are getting warmer and it won’t take much before mosquitoes expand their northern limits,” Powell said. The research was published in the journal Science.

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  1. A
    Andrew Langham
    Nov 27, 2016 at 10:18 am
    Jesus has heard your prayer's ;- Protection and the CURE FOR ZIKA AND OTHER VIRUSES from neurons is ;-lt;br/gt;2 GRAMS OF BOVINE LACTOFERRIN ORAL CAPSULES per day FOR A PERIOD OF 12 MONTHS" SAFE DURING PREGNANCY" its available without prescription at Amazon in 500 mg capsules approx 35 dollars' a bottle of 60 capsules' you can research bovine lactoferrin on the internet' example WIKI' etc I work for the Holy Spirit' the imformation is True and Safe;lt;br/gt;P7C3A20 given with interleukin 2 growth hormone and lactoferrin reverses microcephaly;
    1. R
      Rose Webster
      Nov 27, 2016 at 4:20 pm
      Aedes is not the only vector. And I know there are genetic differences in mosquitoes and in Zika strains. Dr. Constância F. J. Ayres has researched this extensively and three independent teams of researchers from Brazil, China, and Canada have confirmed it.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;In Micronesia, Aedes aegypti is extremely rare on most of the islands and is completely absent from the islands where the vast majority of cases of Zika occurred. But Culex quinquefasciatus is prevalent.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;And Dr. Ayres entirely debunked the earlier studies which pointed exclusively to Aedes being the only possible vectors of the Zika virus in humans. Scroll to 30:12: qpFGd2jslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;And if you listen for just one minute (at the 44:21) she states:lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;"Why, in the human environment, only Aedes aegypti is the villain ... Culex perfuscus has a transmission rate 10 times higher than Aedes aegypti ... but this species, in discussions, was completely ignored ... Zika is more related to the viruses transmitted by Culex."lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Dr. Ayres and her team found that after analyzing over 1,500 mosquitoes (over a 10-month period) that carried Zika, nearly half were Aedes aegypti and most of the rest were Culex quinquefasciatus. About 5 percent were other species. Only 2 percent were Aedes albopictus.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;"Some potions [of Culex] have already adapted to living side-by-side with humans ... and are as efficient at biting humans as Aedes aegypti. Larvae will develop in sewers and pit latrines and adults live in people's houses." ~ Dina Fonseca, entomologist at Rutgers University, New Jerseylt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;I sincerely hope that you all will read the F1000 Research piece by distinguished Professor Walter Leal: lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Another problem Wolbachia-based mosquito control and I found out tests were conducted in northern Australia (and other nearby regions). Wolbachia in Culex ENHANCES West Nile virus and Malaria (and probably does with Zika too).lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Dr. Anthony James, University of California-Irvine, said in response to Dr. Thomas Scott, University of California-Davis:lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;"These genetic tools might not be the best strategies for ZIKV [Zika virus] given that at this point there seem to be multiple vectors not only at the species but also at the potion level. The current genetic technologies would not be appropriately applied to such complex systems."lt;br/gt;Mosquitoes_Might_Reduce_Dengue_Enhance_Zika_and_Cause_a_Million_Souls_to_Become_Sterile