#Zika virus: An updated #review of #competent or naturally infected #mosquitoes (PLoS Negl Trop Dis., abstract)

[Source: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Open Access / Review

Zika virus: An updated review of competent or naturally infected mosquitoes

Yanouk Epelboin ,  Stanislas Talaga, Loïc Epelboin,  Isabelle Dusfour

Published: November 16, 2017 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005933



Zika virus (ZIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) that recently caused outbreaks in the Americas. Over the past 60 years, this virus has been observed circulating among African, Asian, and Pacific Island populations, but little attention has been paid by the scientific community until the discovery that large-scale urban ZIKV outbreaks were associated with neurological complications such as microcephaly and several other neurological malformations in fetuses and newborns. This paper is a systematic review intended to list all mosquito species studied for ZIKV infection or for their vector competence. We discuss whether studies on ZIKV vectors have brought enough evidence to formally exclude other mosquitoes than Aedes species (and particularly Aedes aegypti) to be ZIKV vectors. From 1952 to August 15, 2017, ZIKV has been studied in 53 mosquito species, including 6 Anopheles, 26 Aedes, 11 Culex, 2 Lutzia, 3 Coquillettidia, 2 Mansonia, 2 Eretmapodites, and 1 Uranotaenia. Among those, ZIKV was isolated from 16 different Aedes species. The only species other than Aedes genus for which ZIKV was isolated were Anopheles coustani, Anopheles gambiae, Culex perfuscus, and Mansonia uniformis. Vector competence assays were performed on 22 different mosquito species, including 13 Aedes, 7 Culex, and 2 Anopheles species with, as a result, the discovery that A. aegypti and Aedes albopictus were competent for ZIKV, as well as some other Aedes species, and that there was a controversy surrounding Culex quinquefasciatus competence. Although Culex, Anopheles, and most of Aedes species were generally observed to be refractory to ZIKV infection, other potential vectors transmitting ZIKV should be explored.


Author summary

The first isolation of Zika virus (ZIKV) in mosquitoes was made in 1948 in Aedes africanus. Over the next years, knowledge about ZIKV increased, with detection of the virus in primates, including humans and several other mosquito species. Most of these species were collected in Africa during arbovirus surveillance studies and belong to the genus Aedes, and today, 20 mosquito species have been identified that can be naturally infected by ZIKV. Although field studies are essential to have an overview of potential mosquito vectors of ZIKV during outbreaks or involved in the maintenance of the sylvatic cycle, laboratory studies are needed to assess the capacity of a species to transmit the virus to a new host. Since 2015, corresponding to the beginning of the outbreak in Brazil, vector competence studies have multiplied and confirmed that the mosquito A. aegypti, known to transmit dengue fever and chikungunya viruses, was also the main vector of ZIKV. This review aims to highlight the studies conducted from several laboratories about mosquito species naturally infected or tested for their vector competence for ZIKV.


Citation: Epelboin Y, Talaga S, Epelboin L, Dusfour I (2017) Zika virus: An updated review of competent or naturally infected mosquitoes. PLoS Negl Trop Dis11(11): e0005933. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005933

Editor: Gregory D. Ebel, Colorado State University, UNITED STATES

Published: November 16, 2017

Copyright: © 2017 Epelboin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: YE, ST, and ID acknowledge “an Investissement d’Avenir grant of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche” (CEBA: ANR-10-LABX-25-01). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Keywords: Zika Virus; Mosquitoes; Aedes Aegypti; Aedes Albopictus; Culex Quinquefasciatus; Aedes spp.; Culex spp.

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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.