Diego Ayala

Diego Ayala
Institute of Research for Development | IRD · 224 - Infectious Diseases and Vectors: Ecology, Genetics, Evolution and Control (MIVEGEC)

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87
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Publications

Publications (87)
Preprint
The chromosomal rearrangement 2La has been directly involved in the ecological and deadly epidemiological success of the malaria mosquitoes Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii in sub-Saharan Africa. However, little is known about the biological and ecological factors that drive the local and temporal dynamics of this inversion in both species....
Article
Significance Transmission of malarial parasites occurs via the bites of Anopheles mosquitoes, whose blood-feeding behavior modulates the risk of infection. In many malaria endemic regions, eradication strategies rely on reducing transmission by targeting nocturnal blood-feeding Anopheles with insecticidal nets. However, a proportion of mosquitoes m...
Preprint
The ANOSPP amplicon panel is a genus-wide targeted sequencing panel to facilitate large-scale monitoring of Anopheles species diversity. Combining information from the 62 nuclear amplicons present in the ANOSPP panel allows for a more nuanced species assignment than single gene (e.g. COI) barcoding, which is desirable in the light of permeable spec...
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Mosquito larvae are naturally exposed to microbial communities present in a variety of larval development sites. Several earlier studies have highlighted that the larval habitat influences the composition of the larval bacterial microbiota. However, little information is available on their fungal microbiota, i.e. the mycobiota. In this study, we pr...
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The mosquito species Aedes ( Ochlerotatus ) coluzzii Rioux, Guilvard & Pasteur, 1998 was distinguished from its sibling species Aedes detritus (Haliday, 1833) using an isoenzymatic method that required the destruction of the entire specimen, therefore no holotype was designated by the species authors. We aimed to designate a neotype for Ae. coluzzi...
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Adaptations to anthropogenic domestic habitats contribute to the success of the mosquito Aedes aegypti as a major global vector of several arboviral diseases. The species inhabited African forests before expanding into domestic habitats and spreading to other continents. Despite a well‐studied evolutionary history, how this species initially moved...
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The magnitude and functional patterns of intraspecific transcriptional variation in the anophelines, including those of sex-biased genes underlying sex-specific traits relevant for malaria transmission, remain understudied. As a result, how changes in expression levels drive adaptation in these species is poorly understood. We sequenced the female,...
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In Central Africa, the malaria vector Anopheles coluzzii is predominant in urban and coastal habitats. However, little is known about the environmental factors that may be involved in this process. Here, we performed an analysis of 28 physicochemical characteristics of 59 breeding sites across 5 urban and rural sites in coastal areas of Central Afr...
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The two main Zika virus (ZIKV) vectors, Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti (invasive and native species, respectively), are present in Gabon (Central Africa). The aim of this study was to determine the entomological ZIKV risk associated with these mosquito species in Gabon by evaluating their vector competence for an African (i.e. representative of...
Preprint
Adaptations to anthropogenic domestic habitats contribute to the success of mosquito Aedes aegypti as a major global vector of several arboviral diseases. The species inhabited African forests before expanding into domestic habitats and spreading to the rest of the world. Despite a well-studied evolutionary history, how this species initially moved...
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Horizontal gene transfer from viruses to eukaryotic cells is a pervasive phenomenon. Somatic viral integrations are linked to persistent viral infection whereas integrations into germline cells are maintained in host genomes by vertical transmission and may be co-opted for host functions. In the arboviral vector Aedes aegypti, an endogenous viral e...
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Background: The mosquito Aedes aegypti is a devastating disease vector transmitting several important human arboviral diseases. In its native range in Africa, the mosquito can be found in both the ancestral forest habitat and anthropogenic habitats such as villages. How do the different habitats impact the population genetic structure of the local...
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The theory of ecological divergence provides a useful framework to understand the adaptation of many species to anthropogenic ("domestic") habitats. The mosquito Aedes aegypti , a global vector of several arboviral diseases, presents an excellent study system. Ae. aegypti originated in African forests, but the populations that invaded other contine...
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The majority of mosquito-borne illness is spread by a few mosquito species that have evolved to specialize in biting humans, yet the precise causes of this behavioral shift are poorly understood. We address this gap in the arboviral vector Aedes aegypti. We first collect and characterize the behavior of mosquitoes from 27 sites scattered across the...
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Although specific interactions between host and pathogen genotypes have been well documented in invertebrates, the identification of host genes involved in discriminating pathogen genotypes remains a challenge. In the mosquito Aedes aegypti, the main dengue virus (DENV) vector worldwide, statistical associations between host genetic markers and DEN...
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In the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, the PIWI-interacing RNA pathway contributes in silencing transposable elements (TEs) through smallRNAs (piRNAs), which arise from genomic loci (piRNA clusters) that contain sequences of previously-acquired TEs. As such, they are a functionally-immune archive of previous TE invasions that is passed to t...
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Full-text available
The majority of mosquito-borne illness is spread by a few mosquito species that have evolved to specialize in biting humans, yet the precise causes of this behavioral shift are poorly understood. We address this gap in the arboviral vector Aedes aegypti . We first characterize the behaviour of mosquitoes from 27 sites scattered across the species'...
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Full-text available
Mutualistic interactions with microbes have facilitated the adaptation of major eukaryotic lineages to restricted diet niches. Hence, ticks with their strictly blood‐feeding lifestyle are associated with intracellular bacterial symbionts through an essential B vitamin supplementation. In this study, examination of the whole bacterial diversity in 2...
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Mosquito control remains a central pillar of efforts to reduce malaria burden in sub-Saharan Africa. However, insecticide resistance is entrenched in malaria vector populations, and countries with high malaria burden face a daunting challenge to sustain malaria control with a limited set of surveillance and intervention tools. Here we report on the...
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Complexes of closely related species provide key insights into the rapid and independent evolution of adaptive traits. Here, we described and studied Anopheles fontenillei sp.n., a new species in the Anopheles gambiae complex that we recently discovered in the forested areas of Gabon, Central Africa. Our analysis placed the new taxon in the phyloge...
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Salinity tolerance is an important trait that governs the ecology of disease‐vector mosquitoes by determining their choice of larval habitat, and consequently their ecological and geographical distribution. Here, we used laboratory strains to determine the osmotic responses of larvae of obligate freshwater disease‐vector mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti,...
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During the last decade, the endosymbiont bacterium Wolbachia has emerged as a biological tool for vector disease control. However, for long time, it was believed that Wolbachia was absent in natural populations of Anopheles. The recent discovery that species within the Anopheles gambiae complex host Wolbachia in natural conditions has opened new op...
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Full-text available
Complexes of closely related species provide key insights about the rapid and independent evolution of adaptive traits. Here, we described and studied a presumably new species in the Anopheles gambiae complex, Anopheles fontenillei, recently discovered in the forested areas of Gabon, Central Africa. Our analysis placed the new taxon in the phylogen...
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Inversion polymorphisms are responsible for many ecologically important phenotypes, and are often found under balancing selection. However, the same features that ensure their large role in local adaptation—especially reduced recombination between alternate arrangements—mean that uncovering the precise loci within inversions that control these phen...
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Aedes aegypti, the major vector of dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika viruses, remains of great medical and public health concern. There is little doubt that the ancestral home of the species is Africa. This mosquito invaded the New World 400‐500 years ago and later, Asia. However, little is known about the genetic structure and history of...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the last decade, the endosymbiont bacterium Wolbachia has emerged as a biological tool for vector disease control. However, during long time, Wolbachia was thought to be absent in natural populations of Anopheles. The recent discovery that species within the Anopheles gambiae complex hosts Wolbachia in natural conditions has opened new oppor...
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Full-text available
The sustainability of malaria control in Africa is threatened by rising levels of insecticide resistance, and new tools to prevent malaria transmission are urgently needed. To gain a better understanding of the mosquito populations that transmit malaria, we sequenced the genomes of 765 wild specimens of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii samp...
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Caves house pathogenic microorganisms, some of which are transmitted by blood-sucking arthropods. In Africa, previous studies identified mosquitoes, sand flies and biting midges as the main potential vectors of cave-dwelling pathogens. However, to understand their involvement in pathogen spillover, it is crucial to characterize their diversity, com...
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Full-text available
The sustainability of malaria control in Africa is threatened by the rise of insecticide resistance in Anopheles mosquitoes, which transmit the disease. To gain a deeper understanding of how mosquito populations are evolving, here we sequenced the genomes of 765 specimens of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii sampled from 15 locations across...
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Full-text available
Most emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses originating from wildlife among which vector-borne diseases constitute a major risk for global human health. Understanding the transmission routes of mosquito-borne pathogens in wildlife crucially depends on recording mosquito blood-feeding patterns. During an extensive longitudinal survey to study syl...
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Conditions experienced during larval development of holometabolous insects can affect adult traits, but whether differences in the bacterial communities of larval development sites contribute to variation in the ability of insect vectors to transmit human pathogens is unknown. We addressed this question in the mosquito Aedes aegypti, a major arbovi...
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Explaining how and why reproductive isolation evolves and determining which forms of reproductive isolation have the largest impact on the process of population divergence are major goals in the study of speciation. By studying recent adaptive radiations in incompletely isolated taxa, it is possible to identify barriers involved at early divergence...
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About 60% of emerging infectious diseases in humans are of zoonotic origin. Their increasing number requires the development of new methods for early detection and monitoring of infectious agents in wildlife. Here, we investigated whether blood meals from hematophagous flies could be used to identify the infectious agents circulating in wild verteb...
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Chromosome inversions have fascinated the scientific community, mainly because of their role in the rapid adaption of different taxa to changing environments. However, the ecological traits linked to chromosome inversions have been poorly studied. Here, we investigated the roles played by 23 chromosome inversions in the adaptation of the four major...
Article
The sustainability of malaria control in Africa is threatened by the rise of insecticide resistance in Anopheles mosquitoes, which transmit the disease(1). To gain a deeper understanding of how mosquito populations are evolving, here we sequenced the genomes of 765 specimens of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii sampled from 15 locations acro...
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Mosquitoes, especially Aedes aegypti, are becoming important models for studying invasion biology. We characterized genetic variation at 12 microsatellite loci in 79 populations of Ae. aegypti, from 30 countries in six continents and used them to infer historical and modern patterns of invasion. Our results support the two subspecies Ae. aegypti fo...
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Background The genus Spelaeomyia includes four African species considered as being cavernicolous: Spelaeomyia darlingi, Spelaeomyia mirabilis, Spelaeomyia emilii and Spelaeomyia moucheti. Despite a potential role in Leishmania major leishmaniasis transmission in Mali, no molecular studies and only few morphological studies have addressed relationsh...
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Background: Evidence of haemosporidian infections in bats and bat flies has motivated a growing interest in characterizing their transmission cycles. In Gabon (Central Africa), many caves house massive colonies of bats that are known hosts of Polychromophilus Dionisi parasites, presumably transmitted by blood-sucking bat flies. However, the role o...
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Recent studies have highlighted the large diversity of malaria parasites infecting African great apes (subgenusLaverania) and their strong host specificity. Although the existence of genetic incompatibilities preventing the cross-species transfer may explain host specificity, the existence of vectors with a high preference for a determined host rep...
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Widespread resistance to pyrethroids threatens malaria control in Africa. Consequently, several countries switched to carbamates and organophophates insecticides for indoor residual spraying. However, a mutation in the ace-1 gene conferring resistance to these compounds (ace-1R allele), is already present. Furthermore, a duplicated allele (ace-1D)...
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Understanding how divergent selection generates adaptive phenotypic and population diversification provides a mechanistic explanation of speciation in recently separated species pairs. Toward this goal, we sought ecological gradients of divergence between the cryptic malaria vectors Anopheles coluzzii and An. gambiae, and then looked for a physiolo...
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The genus Anopheles includes mosquito vectors of human malaria and arboviruses. In sub-Saharan Africa, the anopheline fauna is rich of nearly 150 species, few of which are anthropophilic and capable of transmitting pathogens to humans. Some of the remaining species are found in forests far from human environments and are vectors of wildlife pathoge...
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Chromosomal inversions have been repeatedly involved in local adaptation in a large number of animals and plants. The ecological and behavioral plasticity of Anopheles species-human malaria vectors-is mirrored by high amounts of polymorphic inversions. The adaptive significance of chromosomal inversions has been consistently attested by strong and...
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Chromosome inversions have long been thought to be involved in speciation and local adaptation. We have little quantitative information, however, about the effects that inversion polymorphisms have on reproductive isolation and viability. Here we provide the first estimates from any organism for the total amount of reproductive isolation associated...
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Background: Anopheles funestus is one of the major malaria vectors in tropical Africa. Because of several cycles of drought events that occurred during the 1970s, this species had disappeared from many parts of sahelian Africa, including the Senegal River basin. However, this zone has been re-colonized during the last decade by An. funestus, follo...
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Anopheles funestus is one of the most proficient malaria vectors in the world, mainly because of its remarkable ability to populate a wide range of ecological settings across Africa. Its formidable environmental plasticity has been primarily associated to high amounts of genetic and inversion polymorphisms. However, very little is known about the m...
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Full-text available
Chromosomal polymorphisms, such as inversions, are presumably involved in the rapid adaptation of populations to local environmental conditions. Reduced recombination between alternative arrangements in heterozygotes may protect sets of locally adapted genes, promoting ecological divergence and potentially leading to reproductive isolation and spec...