Chikungunya Virus and the Mosquito Vector Aedes aegypti in New Caledonia (South Pacific Region)

1 Institut Pasteur de Nouvelle-Calédonie , Réseau International des Instituts Pasteur, Laboratoire d'Epidémiologie Moléculaire, Nouméa, New Caledonia.
Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.) (Impact Factor: 2.3). 11/2012; 12(12). DOI: 10.1089/vbz.2011.0937
Source: PubMed


Abstract Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is transmitted to humans through the bite of Aedes mosquitoes. During the 2005-2006 epidemic that occurred in the Indian Ocean Islands, a viral strain harboring a substitution of an alanine to valine at position 226 (E1-A226V) of the E1 glycoprotein enhanced the transmissibility of CHIKV by Aedes albopictus. In March 2011, autochthonous transmission of CHIKV was reported in New Caledonia (NC), an island located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. This was the first report of local chikungunya (CHIK) transmission in this region of the world. Phylogenetic analysis based on the complete genome demonstrated that the CHIKV-NC strain isolated from the first autochthonous human case belongs to the Asian lineage. This is consistent with the Indonesian origin of CHIK cases previously imported and detected. Thus the CHIKV-NC does not present a valine substitution at position E1-226. In New Caledonia, the putative vector of CHIKV is Aedes aegypti, since no other potential vector has ever been described. For example, A. albopictus is not found in NC. Vector competence experiments showed that A. aegypti from New Caledonia was able to transmit, as early as 3 days post-infection, two CHIKV strains: CHIKV-NC belonging to the Asian lineage, and CHIKV-RE from Reunion Island harboring the E1-A226V mutation. Thus the extrinsic incubation period of both CHIKV strains in this vector species could be considered to be quite short. These results illustrate the threat of the spread of CHIKV in the South Pacific region. From February to June 2011 (the end of the alert), only 33 cases were detected. Implementation of drastic vector control measures and the occurrence of the cold season probably helped to limit the extent of the outbreak, but other factors may have also been involved and are discussed.

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    • "The serotype switch observed in other PICTs did not occur in NC [10,16]. In 2011, no dengue cases were detected although the number of dengue suspected cases had dramatically increased due to the occurrence of the first chikungunya epidemic ever reported in NC [18,19]. Unexpectedly, DENV-1 re-emerged in 2012–2013 in NC and caused the largest outbreak ever reported (Figure  1 and Table  1) [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The epidemiology of dengue in the South Pacific has been characterized by transmission of a single dominant serotype for 3-5 years, with subsequent replacement by another serotype. From 2001 to 2008 only DENV-1 was reported in the Pacific. In 2008, DENV-4 emerged and quickly displaced DENV-1 in the Pacific, except in New Caledonia (NC) where DENV-1 and DENV-4 co-circulated in 2008-2009. During 2012-2013, another DENV-1 outbreak occurred in NC, the third DENV-1 outbreak in a decade. Given that dengue is a serotype-specific immunizing infection, the recurrent outbreaks of a single serotype within a 10-year period was unexpected. This study aimed to inform this phenomenon by examining the phylogenetic characteristics of the DENV-1 viruses in NC and other Pacific islands between 2001 and 2013. As a result, we have demonstrated that NC experienced introductions of viruses from both the Pacific (genotype IV) and South-east Asia (genotype I). Moreover, whereas genotype IV and I were co-circulating at the beginning of 2012, we observed that from the second half of 2012, i.e. during the major DENV-1 outbreak, all analyzed viruses were genotype I suggesting that a genotype switch occurred. Repeated outbreaks of the same dengue serotype, as observed in NC, is uncommon in the Pacific islands. Why the earlier DENV-1 outbreaks did not induce sufficient herd immunity is unclear, and likely multifactorial, but the robust vector control program may have played a role by limiting transmission and thus maintaining a large susceptible pool in the population.
    Virology Journal 03/2014; 11(1):61. DOI:10.1186/1743-422X-11-61 · 2.18 Impact Factor

  • 05/2013; 4(2):8-10. DOI:10.5365/WPSAR.2013.4.2.003
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    ABSTRACT: During the dry season in February, 2010 and the wet season in September, 2011 we sampled mosquito larvae and eggs from treeholes of seven native hardwood species and the husks of Saba senegalensis in 18 sites in the PK-10 forest in southeastern Senegal. Larvae were reared to adults for species identification. In the dry season, we recovered 408 Aedes mosquitoes belonging to seven species. Aedes aegypti s.l. comprised 42.4% of the collection, followed by Ae. unilineatus (39%). In contrast to reports from East Africa, both Ae. aegypti aegypti and Ae. aegypti formosus were recovered, suggesting that both subspecies survive the dry season in natural larval habitats in West Africa. In the wet season, 455 mosquitoes were collected but 310 (68.1%) were the facultatively predaceous mosquito Eretmapodites chrysogaster. The remaining 145 mosquitoes consisted of ten Aedes species. Aedes aegypti s.l. comprised 55.1% of these, followed by Ae. apicoargenteus (15.2%) and Ae. cozi (11.7%). Similar to East Africa, most (90%) of Ae. aegypti s.l. in the wet season were subspecies formosus.
    12/2013; 38(2). DOI:10.1111/j.1948-7134.2013.12036.x
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