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Fairfax, VA, United States

Lima A.,Disease Carrying Insects Program | Lovin D.D.,University of Notre Dame | Hickner P.V.,University of Notre Dame | Severson D.W.,University of Notre Dame
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Aedes aegypti is an invasive, highly anthropophilic mosquito and a major vector for dengue and chikungunya. Population persistence in the continental United States is reportedly limited to southward of the average 10°C winter isotherm, which in the east, bisects Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina. We report on summer collections and genotypic analyses of Ae. aegypti collected in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington, DC (WDC). Analysis of a 441-bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene sequence identified the same two haplotype sequences during 2011-2014, and placed these within two discrete groups known to be derived from lineages resident in the Americas. Analysis of 10 microsatellite loci for specimens collected during 2011-2014 revealed no evidence for introgression of new alleles across years. Overall, our data support a conclusion that this represents a resident WDC population, likely maintained during winter months in a subterranean habitat that facilitates year-round survival. © 2016 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Source

Armistead J.S.,University of Florida | Armistead J.S.,Johns Hopkins University | Nishimura N.,University of Florida | Arias J.R.,Disease Carrying Insects Program | Lounibos L.P.,University of Florida
Journal of Medical Entomology

The success of an invasive species in a new region depends on its interactions with ecologically similar resident species. Invasions by disease vector mosquitoes are important as they may have ecological and epidemiological consequences. Potential interactions of a recent invasive mosquito, Aedes japonicus Theobald, with resident species in Virginia were evaluated by sampling larvae from containers and trapping adults. Distinct species compositions were observed for artificial containers and rock pools, with Ae. albopictus most abundant in the former and Ae. japonicus in the latter. However, these two species were found to co-occur in 21.2% of containers sampled. Among the six mosquito species most common in containers from May through September, 2006, only interspecific associations of Ae. japonicus with Aedes albopictus (Skuse) and Aedes triseriatus (Say) were significant, and both were negative. In addition to differences in habitat preference, mean crowding estimates suggest that interspecific repulsion may contribute to the significant negative associations observed between these species. High relative abundances of late instars and pupae of Ae. japonicus seem to provide this species with a mechanism of evading competition with Ae. albopictus, facilitating their coexistence in artificial containers. Although annual fluctuations were observed, trends in adult populations over a 6-yr period provide no evidence of declines. In summary, this survey of diverse container types and all life stages provided only limited evidence for competitive displacements or reductions of resident container species by Ae. japonicus, as observed elsewhere in its invasive range. © 2012 Entomological Society of America. Source

Smith J.D.,Disease Carrying Insects Program | Paddock C.D.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Arias J.R.,Disease Carrying Insects Program
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases

The Gulf Coast tick, Amblyomma maculatum, is a vector of Rickettsia parkeri, a recently identified human pathogen that causes a disease with clinical symptoms that resemble a mild form of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Because the prevalence of R. parkeri infection in geographically distinct populations of A. maculatum is not fully understood, A. maculatum specimens collected as part of a tick and pathogen surveillance system in Fairfax County, Virginia, were screened to determine pathogen infection rates. Overall, R. parkeri was found in 41.4% of the A. maculatum that were screened. Additionally, the novel spotted fever group Rickettsia sp., tentatively named "Candidatus Rickettsia andeanae," was observed for the first time in Virginia. © 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Orr J.M.,Disease Carrying Insects Program | Smith J.D.,Disease Carrying Insects Program | Arias J.R.,Disease Carrying Insects Program | Rasgon J.L.,Pennsylvania State University
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases

Ticks collected in 2011 were screened for the presence of filarial nematode genetic material, and positive samples were sequenced for analysis. Monanema-like filarial nematode DNA was recently discovered in Amblyomma americanum in northern Virginia, marking the first time genetic material from this parasite has been discovered in ticks in the state. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that this material was directly related to a previously discovered filarial nematode in A. americanum populations in Maryland as well as recently identified parasites in Ixodes scapularis from southern Connecticut. Further study is warranted to visually confirm the presence of these nematodes, characterize their distribution, and determine if these ticks are intermediate hosts. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. Source

Smith J.D.,Disease Carrying Insects Program | Zawada S.E.,Disease Carrying Insects Program | Arias J.R.,Disease Carrying Insects Program
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases

We report the first evidence of Rickettsia massiliae in the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, from the East Coast of the United States. As part of routine pathogen surveillance, DNA samples from ixodid ticks were tested for spotted fever group rickettsiae by nested PCR. A R. massiliae-positive tick was collected off a beagle mix recently rescued from North Carolina. Infection was confirmed by partial sequence analysis of the htrA, gltA, ompB, ompA, and sca4 genes, which had 100% identity to a R. massiliae isolate from Arizona. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2013. Source

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