Zika-bearing mosquitoes quickly invade and adapt to new environments

Zika-bearing mosquitoes quickly invade and adapt to new environments
Credit: Yale University

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 Jeffrey Powell, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and environmental health sciences.

The mosquito species, which also transmits and chikungunya, has reached as far north as northern California and southern Georgia, Powell reports in a review of science studies published Nov. 25 in the journal Science. A pocket of overwintering was also discovered in Washington D.C.

"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 D.C. 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. And 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, said the Yale researcher.

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.

Explore further

Researcher's fascination with mosquito genetics may help address Zika crisis

More information: J. R. Powell. Mosquitoes on the move, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aal1717
Journal information: Science

Provided by Yale University
Citation: Zika-bearing mosquitoes quickly invade and adapt to new environments (2016, November 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-11-zika-bearing-mosquitoes-quickly-invade-environments.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Nov 25, 2016
Using a method called cryoelectron microscopy, which allows for the visualisation of extremely small particles and their interactions, we visualised bovine lactoferrin interacting with the Zika virus under different pHs, note acidic is most favourable for the viruses studied' the methodology is to mimic the different environments and virus will find themselves in' such as the acidic uterous' which Zika frequently is found in the female genital area ; The resulting information showed that bovine lactoferrin binds to the main N terminal amino acid proteins that makes up the Zika virus coat, regardless of pH, and then prevents the zika proteins binding inplace, thus preventing the structural changes required for the zika fusion step of infection. Without fusion of the virus to the endosome, viral DNA is prevented from entering the cell, and infection is thwarted. Bovine lactoferrin in substantial sustained doses acheives this' example;- 2 grams of bovine lactoferrin per day for 12 months

Nov 25, 2016
Bovine lactoferrin in substantial sustained doses acheives this' example;- 2 grams of bovine lactoferrin per day for 12 months clears all viruses from neurons and also provides protection from all invading viruses such as Zika' Dengue' Yellow fever' West nile' & Hiv;

The N-terminus is the first part of the protein that exits the ribosome during protein biosynthesis. It often contains signal peptide sequences, "intracellular postal codes" that direct delivery of the protein to the proper organelle. bovine lactoferrin on the N terminal in vivo in large sustained quantities can block the docking registration' fact;

The signal peptide is typically removed at the destination by a signal peptidase. The N-terminal amino acid of a protein is an important determinant of its half-life (likelihood of being degraded). This is called the N-end rule;

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more