Europe was officially declared free from malaria in 1975; nevertheless, this disease remains a potential problem related to the presence of former vectors, belonging to the Anopheles maculipennis complex. Autochthonous-introduced malaria cases, recently reported in European countries, together with the predicted climatic and environmental changes, have increased the concern of health authorities over the possible resurgence of this disease in the Mediterranean Basin. In Italy, to study the distribution and bionomics of indigenous anopheline populations and to assess environmental parameters that could influence their dynamics, an entomological study was carried out in 2005-2006 in an at-risk study area. This model area is represented by the geographical region named the Maremma, a Tyrrhenian costal plain in Central Italy, where malaria was hyperendemic up to the 1950s. Fortnightly, entomological surveys (April-October) were carried out in four selected sites with different ecological features. Morphological and molecular characterization, blood meal identification, and parity rate assessment of the anophelines were performed. In total, 8274 mosquitoes were collected, 7691 of which were anophelines. Six Anopheles species were recorded, the most abundant of which were Anopheles labranchiae and An. maculipennis s.s. An. labranchiae is predominant in the coastal plain, where it is present in scattered foci. However, this species exhibits a wider than expected range: in fact it has been recorded, for the first time, inland where An. maculipennis s.s. is the most abundant species. Both species fed on a wide range of animal hosts, also showing a marked aggressiveness on humans, when available. Our findings demonstrated the high receptivity of the Maremma area, where the former malaria vector, An. labranchiae, occurs at different densities related to the kind of environment, climatic parameters, and anthropic activities.
Aedes albopictus has been known as efficient vector of dengue in Asian countries and its wide displacement of Ae. aegypti has been documented in many parts of the world. The present survey was carried out to update the distribution of Ae. albopictus in northeast Mexico and to report the first record of parasitism of mosquitoes by Ascogregarina taiwanensis in Mexico.
Human landing collections were conducted in the month of May every year between 2007 and 2009 across the three states, Nuevo Leon (NL), Tamaulipas and Coahuila in northeast Mexico. Six human bait collections were also organized at the cemetery of Gomez Farias (GF), a village in southern Tamaulipas during the rainy and dry seasons in 2010. Aedes albopictus caught in 2010 were dissected for parasitic protozoan gregarines.
The results of human landing collections carried out during 2007-10 across the three states of northeast zone of Mexico revealed that Ae. albopictus is invading along the route between Monterrey City in NL and Tampico, Tamaulipas, but not into the arid state of Coahuila. Aedes albopictus was recorded in nine new municipalities in addition to the 15 municipalities reported before 2005. Furthermore, six human-bait collections performed during the dry and rainy seasons in 2010 at the cemetery of GF suggest the exclusion of Ae. aegypti on that site. Dominance was shared by Ae. quadrivittatus, another container-inhabitant but indigenous species, and Ae. albopictus during the dry and rainy seasons, respectively. The results of dissection of the mosquitoes for gregarines revealed the parasitism of Ae. albopictus by A. taiwanensis.
The results of this study showed that Ae. albopictus has spread to all the municipalities in the northeastern Mexico except the arid area and reported the first record of parasitic protozoan A. taiwanensis in Mexico. We recommend further studies on larval and adult populations of natural container-occupant mosquitoes in northeastern Mexico in order to have a better documentation of the impact of Ae. albopictus upon the indigenous species community, and its epidemiological role in dengue transmission.
After more than a half century without recognized local dengue outbreaks in the continental United States, there were recent outbreaks of autochthonous dengue in the southern parts of Texas (2004-2005) and Florida (2009-2011). This dengue reemergence has provoked interest in the extent of the future threat posed by the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.), the primary vector of dengue and yellow fever viruses in urban settings, to human health in the continental United States. Ae. aegypti is an intriguing example of a vector species that not only occurs in the southernmost portions of the eastern United States today but also is incriminated as the likely primary vector in historical outbreaks of yellow fever as far north as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, from the 1690s to the 1820s. For vector species with geographic ranges limited, in part, by low temperature and cool range margins occurring in the southern part of the continental United States, as is currently the case for Ae. aegypti, it is tempting to speculate that climate warming may result in a northward range expansion (similar to that seen for Ixodes tick vectors of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes in Scandinavia and southern Canada in recent decades). Although there is no doubt that climate conditions directly impact many aspects of the life history of Ae. aegypti, this mosquito also is closely linked to the human environment and directly influenced by the availability of water-holding containers for oviposition and larval development. Competition with other container-inhabiting mosquito species, particularly Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse), also may impact the presence and local abundance of Ae. aegypti. Field-based studies that focus solely on the impact of weather or climate factors on the presence and abundance of Ae. aegypti, including assessments of the potential impact of climate warming on the mosquito's future range and abundance, do not consider the potential confounding effects of socioeconomic factors or biological competitors for establishment and proliferation of Ae. aegypti. The results of such studies therefore should not be assumed to apply in areas with different socioeconomic conditions or composition of container-inhabiting mosquito species. For example, results from field-based studies at the high altitude cool margins for Ae. aegypti in Mexico's central highlands or the Andes in South America cannot be assumed to be directly applicable to geographic areas in the United States with comparable climate conditions. Unfortunately, we have a very poor understanding of how climatic drivers interact with the human landscape and biological competitors to impact establishment and proliferation of Ae. aegypti at the cool margin of its range in the continental United States. A first step toward assessing the future threat this mosquito poses to human health in the continental United States is to design and conduct studies across strategic climatic and socioeconomic gradients in the United States (including the U.S.-Mexico border area) to determine the permissiveness of the coupled natural and human environment for Ae. aegypti at the present time. This approach will require experimental studies and field surveys that focus specifically on climate conditions relevant to the continental United States. These studies also must include assessments of how the human landscape, particularly the impact of availability of larval developmental sites and the permissiveness of homes for mosquito intrusion, and the presence of other container-inhabiting mosquitoes that may compete with Ae. aegypti for larval habitat affects the ability of Ae. aegypti to establish and proliferate. Until we are armed with such knowledge, it is not possible to meaningfully assess the potential for climate warming to impact the proliferation potential for Ae. aegypti in the United States outside of the geographic areas where the mosquito already is firmly established, and even less so for dengue virus transmission and dengue disease in humans.
The lists of malaria mosquitoes in Russia includes 12 species, rather than 13, as it was formerly considered (Gornostaeva, 2000; Gornostaeva, Danilov, 2002), because Anopheles subalpinus is a junior synonym of An. melanoon. Data accumulated up to present are still not sufficient to characterize ranges of many species in Russia, specifically An. beklemishevi, An. maculipennis, and An. messea. Careful investigations of biodiversity and ranges of the malaria mosquitoes in different territories of Russia have not been carried out since 40-60th. In the last 50 years, a cytodiagnostic method appeared to be the most perspective method for the study of biodiversity and ranges of the malaria mosquitoes in Russia. Critical analysis of data obtained by this methods shows that the studies of biodiversity and ranges of the malaria mosquitoes should be performed in a contact of entomologist and genetic experts to avoid errors in a collection of field data and laboratory tests. The study of biodiversity and ranges of the malaria mosquitoes is a quite important field of investigations, because of increase of local cases of the malaria disease and unfavorable prognosis for nearest years in relation to the malaria.
The retrospective analysis of dysentery morbidity in Blagoveshchensk for the period of 1960-1987 was made. The regularities linking general natural and biological factors triggering the epidemic process with dysentery morbidity among the population are emphasized. The study revealed that under the conditions of Blagoveshchensk dairy products were of major epidemic importance among factors contributing to the transmission of dysentery. Such a factor as flies also had a definite influence on the epidemic process of dysentery. Another risk factor was drinking water which influenced the epidemic process both directly and indirectly through dairy products and, probably, other foodstuffs. Reliable correlation between dysentery morbidity among the population and the quality of dairy products, tap water and the number of flies was established.
The paper gives the results of analyzing the data of long-term studies of the natural focal pattern of plague in the Gornyi Altai natural focus. It describes a wide range of biological processes occurring in the focus and shows the most important patterns of its functioning as a complex multilevel ecological system. The key features of the formation of the focus have been revealed. The plague focus in South-Western Altai has formed relatively, recently, about half a century ago, then it has intensively developed and its enzootic area and the activity of epizootic manifestations have considerably increased. This process is due to the space-time transformations of the basic ecological and population characteristics of Pallas' pika (Ochotoma pallasi), the principal vector of the pathogen of plague and fleas parasitizing the mammal, which is in turn related to the aridization of mountain steppes in South-Western Altai.