Aedes hensilli as a potential vector of Chikungunya and Zika viruses
Ledermann, Jeremy P
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An epidemic of Zika virus (ZIKV) illness that occurred in July 2007 on Yap Island in the Federated States of Micronesia prompted entomological studies to identify both the primary vector(s) involved in transmission and the ecological parameters contributing to the outbreak. Larval and pupal surveys were performed to identify the major containers serving as oviposition habitat for the likely vector(s). Adult mosquitoes were also collected by backpack aspiration, light trap, and gravid traps at select sites around the capital city. The predominant species found on the island was Aedes (Stegomyia) hensilli. No virus isolates were obtained from the adult field material collected, nor did any of the immature mosquitoes that were allowed to emerge to adulthood contain viable virus or nucleic acid. Therefore, laboratory studies of the probable vector, Ae. hensilli, were undertaken to determine the likelihood of this species serving as a vector for Zika virus and other arboviruses. Infection rates of up to 86%, 62%, and 20% and dissemination rates of 23%, 80%, and 17% for Zika, chikungunya, and dengue-2 viruses respectively, were found supporting the possibility that this species served as a vector during the Zika outbreak and that it could play a role in transmitting other medically important arboviruses.