Friday, February 05, 2016

The Lancet: Indentification Of Zika Virus Vectors

# 10,974

The accepted wisdom - which is echoed in virtually every Zika story - is that the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is the primary vector for the virus. The Aedes Albopictus mosquito is also a suspected Zika vector, but its actual impact on the virus's spread is still unknown.

There are, however, more than 3,500 species of mosquito around the globe, and as least 175 can be found in the United States - including the two Aedes vectors (see map above) - and most have never been tested to see whether they can transmit Zika. 

A little over a week ago, in FIOCRUZ Researchers Investigate Other Possible Zika Mosquito Vectors, we looked at ongoing research looking to see if the Culex mosquito (common in the U.S. & in South America) might carry and transmit the Zika virus, but answers are still likely weeks away.

Last night The Lancet published a comment by Constância F J Ayres, an entomologist and research coordinator of the Culex/Zika research project at FIOCRUZ (Fundação Oswaldo Cruz), who outlines the lack of data on the Zika virus vectors and warns:

To assume that the main vector is A aegypti in areas in which other mosquito species coexist is naive, and could be catastrophic if other species are found to have important roles in Zika virus transmission.

The full comment (which is short) may be read at:

Identification of Zika virus vectors and implications for control

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