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Kek R.,11 Health | Hapuarachchi H.C.,11 Health | Chung C.-Y.,Philip Morris International Research Laboratories Pte Ltd | Humaidi M.B.,11 Health | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Medical Entomology | Year: 2014

Aedes albopictus (Skuse) is a competent vector of arboviruses of public health importance, including dengue virus (DENV) and chikungunya virus viruses. Ae. albopictus is the primary vector of chikungunya virus in Singapore. However, despite being ubiquitous, it plays a secondary role in DENV transmission. The vectorial capacity of Ae. albopictus for DENV in field settings appears to be weak because dengue primarily occurs in Aedes aegypti (L.)-dominated, urban settings of the country. As host-seeking behavior is one of the determinants of vectorial capacity, we screened 6,762 female Ae. albopictus from rural, semiurban, and urban locations in Singapore for avian and nonavian bloodmeals using two polymerase chain reaction-sequencing assays developed in-house. The majority (83.2%, n = 79) of bloodmeals from rural and semiurban areas were from humans. However, Ae. albopictus was also found to feed on shrews, swine, dogs, cats, turtles, and multiple hosts in rural settings. In urban areas, all positive bloodmeals were from humans. There were no avian bloodmeals. Our findings testify that Ae. albopictus is highly anthropophagic even in rural settings, but become opportunistic in extremely low human abundance. This opportunistic feeding behavior warrants further investigations into the vectorial capacity of Ae. albopictus to assess its role in arbovirus transmission in endemic habitats. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

Phillips B.,Philip Morris International Research Laboratories Pte Ltd | Esposito M.,Philip Morris Products S.A. | Verbeeck J.,Philip Morris Products S.A. | Boue S.,Philip Morris Products S.A. | And 12 more authors.
Inhalation Toxicology | Year: 2015

Toxicity of nebulized nicotine (Nic) and nicotine/pyruvic acid mixtures (Nic/Pyr) was characterized in a 28-day Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development 412 inhalation study with additional transcriptomic and lipidomic analyses. Sprague-Dawley rats were nose-only exposed, 6 h/day, 5 days/week to filtered air, saline, nicotine (50 μg/l), sodium pyruvate (NaPyr, 33.9 μg/l) or equimolar Nic/Pyr mixtures (18, 25 and 50 μg nicotine/l). Saline and NaPyr caused no health effects, but rats exposed to nicotine-containing aerosols had decreased body weight gains and concentration-dependent increases in liver weight. Blood neutrophil counts were increased and lymphocyte counts decreased in rats exposed to nicotine; activities of alkaline phosphatase and alanine aminotransferase were increased, and levels of cholesterol and glucose decreased. The only histopathologic finding in non-respiratory tract organs was increased liver vacuolation and glycogen content. Respiratory tract findings upon nicotine exposure (but also some phosphate-buffered saline aerosol effects) were observed only in the larynx and were limited to adaptive changes. Gene expression changes in the lung and liver were very weak. Nic and Nic/Pyr caused few significant changes (including Cyp1a1 gene upregulation). Changes were predominantly related to energy metabolism and fatty acid metabolism but did not indicate an obvious toxicity-related response. Nicotine exposure lowered plasma lipids, including cholesteryl ester (CE) and free cholesterol and, in the liver, phospholipids and sphingolipids. Nic, NaPyr and Nic/Pyr decreased hepatic triacylglycerol and CE. In the lung, Nic and Nic/Pyr increased CE levels. These data suggest that only minor biologic effects related to inhalation of Nic or Nic/Pyr aerosols were observed in this 28-day study. © 2015 Informa Healthcare USA.

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