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Tinton Falls, NJ, United States

Bartlett-Healy K.,Rutgers University | Healy S.P.,Monmouth County Mosquito Extermination Commission | Hamilton G.C.,Rutgers University
Journal of Medical Entomology | Year: 2011

Container-dwelling mosquitoes use a wide variety of container habitats. The bottle cap is often cited as the smallest container habitat used by container species. When containers are small, the habitat conditions can greatly affect evaporation rates that in turn can affect the species dynamics within the container. An evaporation rate model was adapted to predict evaporation rates in mosquito container habitats. In both the laboratory and field, our model was able to predict actual evaporation rates. Examples of how the model may be applied are provided by examining the likelihood of Aedes albopictus (Skuse), Aedes aegypti (L.), and Culex pipiens pipiens (L.) completing their development within small-volume containers under typical environmental conditions and a range of temperatures. Our model suggests that under minimal direct sunlight exposure, both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus could develop within a bottle cap before complete evaporation. Our model shows that under the environmental conditions when a plastic field container was sampled, neither Ae. albopictus or Cx. p. pipiens could complete development in that particular container before the water evaporated. Although rainfall could replenish the habitat, the effects of evaporation would increase larval density, which could in turn further decrease developmental rates. © 2011 Entomological Society of America.

Egizi A.,Rutgers University | Healy S.P.,Monmouth County Mosquito Extermination Commission | Fonseca D.M.,Rutgers University
Infection, Genetics and Evolution | Year: 2013

Blood meal analysis (BMA) is a useful tool for epidemiologists and vector ecologists to assess which vector species are critical to disease transmission. In most current BMA assays vertebrate primers amplify DNA from a blood meal, commonly an abundant mitochondrial (mtDNA) locus, which is then sequenced and compared to known sequences in GenBank to identify its source. This technique, however, is time consuming and costly as each individual sample must be sequenced for species identification and mixed blood meals cloned prior to sequencing. Further, we found that several standard BMA vertebrate primers match sequences of the mtDNA of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, making their use for blood meal identification in this species impossible. Because of the importance of Ae. albopictus as a vector of dengue and chikungunya viruses to humans, we designed a rapid assay that allows easy identification of human blood meals as well as mixed meals between human and nonhuman mammals. The assay consists of a nested PCR targeting the cytochrome b (cytb) mtDNA locus with a blocking primer in the internal PCR. The blocking primer has a 3' inverted dT modification that when used with the Stoffel Taq fragment prevents amplification of nuclear cytochrome b pseudogenes in humans and allows for the continued use of cytb in BMA studies, as it is one of the most species-rich loci in GenBank. We used our assay to examine 164 blooded specimens of Ae. albopictus from suburban coastal New Jersey and found 62% had obtained blood from humans with 7.6% mixes between human and another mammal species. We also confirmed the efficiency of our assay by comparing it with standard BMA primers on a subset of 62 blooded Ae. albopictus. While this assay was designed for use in Ae. albopictus, it will have broader application in other anthropophilic mosquitoes. © 2013 Elsevier B.V..

Suman D.S.,Rutgers University | Farajollahi A.,Mercer County Mosquito Control | Healy S.,Monmouth County Mosquito Extermination Commission | Williams G.M.,Hudson County Mosquito Control | And 3 more authors.
Acta Tropica | Year: 2014

Autodissemination of insecticides is a novel strategy for mosquito management. We tested if contaminated Aedes albopictus (Skuse) mosquitoes from a small area treated with commercial formulations (79gm a.i. pyriproxyfen/ha) using conventional techniques, would disseminate pyriproxyfen over a wider area. Pyriproxyfen showed LC50=0.012 ppb for Ae. albopictus. Direct treatment and autodissemination efficacy was measured as a pupal mortality by conducting Ae. albopictus larval bioassay. A tire pile (n=100 tires) treated by backpack sprayer as a point-source treatment showed higher pupal mortality in 2010 (60.8% for week 0-6) than in 2011 (38.3% for week 0-6). The sentinel containers placed for autodissemination in four compass directions out to 200-400m from the tire pile showed 15.8% pupal mortality (week 1-6) in the first year, and 1.4% pupal mortality in the second year. No significant difference was detected among the distances and direction for pupal mortality. In area-wide treatments, vegetation was sprayed in checkerboard pattern (3.7% of 105ha) using backpack sprayer in 2010 and in strips (24.8% of 94ha) using truck-mounted ultra-low volume (ULV) sprayer in 2011. In both years, the area-wide direct treatment efficacy was lower (30.3% during 2010 and 5.3% in 2011) than point-source treatments. Autodissemination in area-wide plots was higher in 2010 (10.3%) than 2011 (2.9%). However, area-wide treatments were ineffective on field populations of Ae. albopictus as monitored by using BGS traps. We found accumulation of pyriproxyfen in the week 6 autodissemination containers in both experiments. The differences in autodissemination in 2010 and 2011 can be attributed to higher rainfall in the second year that may have eroded the pyriproxyfen from treatment surfaces and sentinel containers. Our study shows that ULV surface treatments of conventional formulation do not work for autodissemination. The effectiveness of pyriproxyfen in autodissemination may be improved by developing specific formulations to treat vegetation and tires that can load high doses on mosquitoes. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Unlu I.,Rutgers University | Farajollahi A.,Rutgers University | Rochlin I.,Rutgers University | Crepeau T.N.,Monmouth County Mosquito Extermination Commission | And 2 more authors.
Acta Tropica | Year: 2014

Suppression of Aedes albopictus populations is a substantial challenge for mosquito control programs globally because juveniles of this species are found in numerous kinds of domestic artificial containers that are difficult to detect, access, and eliminate. We conducted a multi-year assessment of the effect of different interventions to control Ae. albopictus near the northernmost geographic boundary of the species in temperate North America and deployed an array of BG-Sentinel traps for adult surveillance. Here we present the results of a comparative examination of adult sex ratios in urban and suburban areas, shifts in sex ratios after control interventions, and a discussion of the critical drivers of population dynamics of Ae. albopictus in our area. We collected significantly more male mosquitoes in urban as compared to suburban areas in June through September, but not in May ( p<. 0.001). The higher number of male mosquitoes in urban areas could be attributed to a higher number of larval habitats within a closer proximity of the surveillance traps and the lower flight dispersal of males. Following application of adulticides in urban areas, Ae. albopictus male populations were reduced by 88% on average, which was higher than the 69% reduction in female populations. The higher reduction of male mosquitoes could be attributed to the smaller body mass of the males and their higher susceptibility to adulticides. The results of this study are directly relevant to the development of suitable control strategies that depend on manipulation of males, such as the sterile insect technique. The results could also be used to refine mosquito abatement by providing more accurate methods to determine the need and timing of vector control. © 2014.

Marcombe S.,Rutgers University | Marcombe S.,Pasteur Institute | Farajollahi A.,Rutgers University | Healy S.P.,Monmouth County Mosquito Extermination Commission | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Aedes albopictus (Skuse) is an invasive mosquito that has become an important vector of chikungunya and dengue viruses. Immature Ae. albopictus thrive in backyard household containers that require treatment with larvicides and when adult populations reach pest levels or disease transmission is ongoing, adulticiding is often required. To assess the feasibility of control of USA populations, we tested the susceptibility of Ae. albopictus to chemicals representing the main insecticide classes with different modes of action: organochlorines, organophosphates, carbamates, pyrethroids, insect growth regulators (IGR), naturalytes, and biolarvicides. We characterized a susceptible reference strain of Ae. albopictus, ATM95, and tested the susceptibility of eight USA populations to five adulticides and six larvicides. We found that USA populations are broadly susceptible to currently available larvicides and adulticides. Unexpectedly, however, we found significant resistance to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in two Florida populations and in a New Jersey population. We also found resistance to malathion, an organophosphate, in Florida and New Jersey and reduced susceptibility to the IGRs pyriproxyfen and methoprene. All populations tested were fully susceptible to pyrethroids. Biochemical assays revealed a significant upregulation of GSTs in DDT-resistant populations in both larval and adult stages. Also, β-esterases were up-regulated in the populations with suspected resistance to malathion. Of note, we identified a previously unknown amino acid polymorphism (Phe → Leu) in domain III of the VGSC, in a location known to be associated with pyrethroid resistance in another container-inhabiting mosquito, Aedes aegypti L. The observed DDT resistance in populations from Florida may indicate multiple introductions of this species into the USA, possibly from tropical populations. In addition, the mechanisms underlying DDT resistance often result in pyrethroid resistance, which would undermine a remaining tool for the control of Ae. albopictus. Continued monitoring of the insecticide resistance status of this species is imperative. © 2014 Marcombe et al.

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