Ornamental Bromeliad Plants Contribute to Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Bromeliad” by Selena N. B. H. is licensed under CC BY 2.0André Wilke, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Associate
Division of Environment & Public Health
Department of Public Health Sciences
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Clinical Research Building
Miami, Florida 33136

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: As vector-borne diseases pose an increasing public health threat to communities in South Florida and elsewhere, a new study led by public health researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has revealed that ornamental bromeliad plants contribute to breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito—a key culprit for the Zika outbreak that hit Miami-Dade County and other areas of Florida and the Americas in 2016.

In addition to Zika, bites from the Aedes aegypti mosquito can cause dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya. Zika has been linked to microcephaly and other birth defects in unborn babies when pregnant women contract the disease. The family of diseases linked to the Aedes aegypti can cause other severe symptoms. Yellow fever can be fatal.

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Road Networks Predict Dengue and Chikungunya Mosquito Spread

'Tiger Mosquito' Aedes albopictus female mosquito

‘Tiger Mosquito’
Aedes albopictus female mosquito

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jose R. Loaiza
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute,
Panama City, Panama, Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología,  Universidad de Panamá, Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá

 


Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: The mosquito Aedes albopictus is a worldwide vector of both Dengue and
Chikungunya viruses.

This species invaded Panama in 2002, and it expanded
across much of the country since that time. Our main goal was to
determine the factors (e.g., ecological and non-ecological) associated
with its expansion, and to comment on the implications for vector and
disease control programs elsewhere in the American tropics.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: We found that road networks alone best predicted the distribution of Ae.
albopictus in Panama over other variables such as population density and
climate. Our data explain the invasion mode of this mosquito species on a
local level and demonstrate a remarkable population expansion velocity
across the country. Ae. albopictus is likely moving across the landscape
as immature stages (i.e., larvae and pupae) in open water, such as used
tires.

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