skip to main content

Title: Parasitism of Aedes albopictus by Ascogregarina taiwanensis lowers its competitive ability against Aedes triseriatus
Abstract Background Mosquitoes are vectors for diseases such as dengue, malaria and La Crosse virus that significantly impact the human population. When multiple mosquito species are present, the competition between species may alter population dynamics as well as disease spread. Two mosquito species, Aedes albopictus and Aedes triseriatus , both inhabit areas where La Crosse virus is found. Infection of Aedes albopictus by the parasite Ascogregarina taiwanensis and Aedes triseriatus by the parasite Ascogregarina barretti can decrease a mosquito’s fitness, respectively. In particular, the decrease in fitness of Aedes albopictus occurs through the impact of Ascogregarina taiwanensis on female fecundity, larval development rate, and larval mortality and may impact its initial competitive advantage over Aedes triseriatus during invasion. Methods We examine the effects of parasitism of gregarine parasites on Aedes albopictus and triseriatus population dynamics and competition with a focus on when Aedes albopictus is new to an area. We build a compartmental model including competition between Aedes albopictus and triseriatus while under parasitism of the gregarine parasites. Using parameters based on the literature, we simulate the dynamics and analyze the equilibrium population proportion of the two species. We consider the presence of both parasites and potential dilution effects. Results more » We show that increased levels of parasitism in Aedes albopictus will decrease the initial competitive advantage of the species over Aedes triseriatus and increase the survivorship of Aedes triseriatus . We find Aedes albopictus is better able to invade when there is more extreme parasitism of Aedes triseriatus . Furthermore, although the transient dynamics differ, dilution of the parasite density through uptake by both species does not alter the equilibrium population sizes of either species. Conclusions Mosquito population dynamics are affected by many factors, such as abiotic factors (e.g. temperature and humidity) and competition between mosquito species. This is especially true when multiple mosquito species are vying to live in the same area. Knowledge of how population dynamics are affected by gregarine parasites among competing species can inform future mosquito control efforts and help prevent the spread of vector-borne disease. « less
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1853495
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10227041
Journal Name:
Parasites & Vectors
Volume:
14
Issue:
1
ISSN:
1756-3305
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Condition-specific competition, when environmental conditions alter the outcome of competition, can foster the persistence of resident species after the invasion of a competitively superior invader. We test whether condition-specific competition can facilitate the areawide persistence of the resident and principal West Nile virus vector mosquito Culex pipiens with the competitively superior invasive Aedes albopictus in water from different urban container habitats. (2) Methods: We tested the effects of manipulated numbers of A. albopictus on C. pipiens’ survival and development in water collected from common functional and discarded containers in Baltimore, MD, USA. The experiment was conducted with typical numbers of larvae found in field surveys of C. pipiens and A. albopictus and container water quality. (3) Results: We found increased densities of A. albopictus negatively affected the survivorship and development of C. pipiens in water from discarded containers but had little effect in water from functional containers. This finding was driven by water from trash cans, which allowed consistently higher C. pipiens’ survival and development and had greater mean ammonia and nitrate concentrations that can promote microbial food than other container types. (4) Conclusions: These results suggest that the contents of different urban containers alter the effects of invasive A.more »albopictus competition on resident C. pipiens, that trash cans, in particular, facilitate the persistence of C. pipiens, and that there could be implications for West Nile virus risk as a result.« less
  2. ika virus is an emerging arbovirus of humans in the western hemisphere. With its potential spread into new geographical areas, it is important to define the vector competence of native mosquito species. We tested the vector competency of Aedes vexans (Meigen) from the Lake Agassiz Plain of northwestern Minnesota and northeastern North Dakota. Aedes aegypti (L.) was used as a positive control for comparison. Mosquitoes were fed blood containing Zika virus and 2 wk later were tested for viral infection and dissemination. Aedes vexans (n = 60) were susceptible to midgut infection (28% infection rate) but displayed a fairly restrictive midgut escape barrier (3% dissemination rate). Cofed Ae. aegypti (n = 22) displayed significantly higher rates of midgut infection (61%) and dissemination (22%). To test virus transmission, mosquitoes were inoculated with virus and 16-17 d later, tested for their ability to transmit virus into fluid-filled capillary tubes. Unexpectedly, the transmission rate was significantly higher for Ae. vexans (34%, n = 47) than for Ae. aegypti (5%, n = 22). The overall transmission potential for Ae. vexans to transmit Zika virus was 1%. Because of its wide geographic distribution, often extreme abundance, and aggressive human biting activity, Ae. vexans could serve as a potential vector for Zika virus inmore »northern latitudes where the conventional vectors, Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus Skuse, cannot survive. However, Zika virus is a primate virus and humans are the only amplifying host species in northern latitudes. To serve as a vector of Zika virus, Ae. vexans must feed repeatedly on humans. Defining the propensity of Ae. vexans to feed repeatedly on humans will be key to understanding its role as a potential vector of Zika virus.« less
  3. Hamer, Gabriel (Ed.)
    Abstract Many species distribution maps indicate the ranges of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse) overlap in Florida despite the well-documented range reduction of Ae. aegypti. Within the last 30 yr, competitive displacement of Ae. aegypti by Ae. albopictus has resulted in partial spatial segregation of the two species, with Ae. aegypti persisting primarily in urban refugia. We modeled fine-scale distributions of both species, with the goal of capturing the outcome of interspecific competition across space by building habitat suitability maps. We empirically parameterized models by sampling 59 sites in south and central Florida over time and incorporated climatic, landscape, and human population data to identify predictors of habitat suitability for both species. Our results show human density, precipitation, and urban land cover drive Ae. aegypti habitat suitability, compared with exclusively climatic variables driving Ae. albopictus habitat suitability. Remotely sensed variables (macrohabitat) were more predictive than locally collected metrics (microhabitat), although recorded minimum daily temperature showed significant, inverse relationships with both species. We detected minor Aedes habitat segregation; some periurban areas that were highly suitable for Ae. albopictus were unsuitable for Ae. aegypti. Fine-scale empirical models like those presented here have the potential for precise risk assessment and themore »improvement of operational applications to control container-breeding Aedes mosquitoes.« less
  4. Abstract

    Arthropods harbor a largely undocumented diversity of RNA viruses. Some arthropods, like mosquitoes, can transmit viruses to vertebrates but are themselves parasitized by other arthropod species, such as mites. Very little is known about the viruses of these ectoparasites and how they move through the host–parasite relationship. To address this, we determined the virome of both mosquitoes and the mites that feed on them. The mosquito Aedes communis is an abundant and widely distributed species in Sweden, in northern Europe. These dipterans are commonly parasitized by water mite larvae (Trombidiformes: Mideopsidae) that are hypothesized to impose negative selection pressures on the mosquito by reducing fitness. In turn, viruses are dual-host agents in the mosquito–mite interaction. We determined the RNA virus diversity of mite-free and mite-detached mosquitoes, as well as their parasitic mites, using meta-transcriptomic sequencing. Our results revealed an extensive RNA virus diversity in both mites and mosquitoes, including thirty-seven putative novel RNA viruses that cover a wide taxonomic range. Notably, a high proportion of viruses (20/37) were shared between mites and mosquitoes, while a limited number of viruses were present in a single host. Comparisons of virus composition and abundance suggest potential virus transfer between mosquitoes and mitesmore »during their symbiotic interaction. These findings shed light on virome diversity and ecology in the context of arthropod host–parasite–virus relationships.

    « less
  5. Perkins, Alex (Ed.)
    Mosquitoes vector harmful pathogens that infect millions of people every year, and developing approaches to effectively control mosquitoes is a topic of great interest. However, the success of many control measures is highly dependent upon ecological, physiological, and life history traits of mosquito species. The behavior of mosquitoes and their potential to vector pathogens can also be impacted by these traits. One trait of interest is mosquito body mass, which depends upon many factors associated with the environment in which juvenile mosquitoes develop. Our experiments examined the impact of larval density on the body mass of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are important vectors of dengue, Zika, yellow fever, and other pathogens. To investigate the interactions between the larval environment and mosquito body mass, we built a discrete time mathematical model that incorporates body mass, larval density, and food availability and fit the model to our experimental data. We considered three categories of model complexity informed by data, and selected the best model within each category using Akaike’s Information Criterion. We found that the larval environment is an important determinant of the body mass of mosquitoes upon emergence. Furthermore, we found that larval density has greater impact on body mass ofmore »adults at emergence than on development time, and that inclusion of density dependence in the survival of female aquatic stages in models is important. We discuss the implications of our results for the control of Aedes mosquitoes and on their potential to spread disease.« less