Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, FAST TRACK
Original Article

Zika infection decreases Aedes aegypti locomotor activity but does not influence egg production or viability

Karine Pedreira Padilha1,2, Maria Eduarda Barreto Resck1, Octávio Augusto Talyuli da Cunha2, Rayane Teles-de-Freitas1, Stéphanie Silva Campos3, Marcos Henrique Ferreira Sorgine2,4, Ricardo Lourenço-de-Oliveira3,4, Luana Cristina Farnesi1, Rafaela Vieira Bruno1,4,+

1Laboratório de Biologia Molecular de Insetos, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
2Laboratório de Bioquímica de Insetos Hematófagos, Instituto de Bioquímica Médica Leopoldo de Meis, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
3Laboratório de Mosquitos Transmissores de Hematozoários, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
4Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia em Entomologia Médica (INCT-EM), CNPq, Brazil.
DOI: 10.1590/0074-02760180290
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Zika has emerged as a new public health threat after the explosive epidemic in Brazil in 2015. It is an arboviroses transmitted mainly by Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. The knowledge of physiological, behavioral and biological features in virus-infected vectors may help the understanding of arbovirus transmission dynamics and elucidate their influence in vector capacity. Here, we aimed to investigate the effects of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in the behavior of Ae. aegypti females by analyzing the locomotor activity, egg production and viability. Ae. aegypti females were orally infected with ZIKV through an artificial feeder to access egg production, egg viability and locomotor activity. For egg production and viability assays, females were kept in cages containing an artificial site for oviposition and eggs were counted. No significant difference in the number of eggs laid per females neither in their viability were found between ZIKV infected and non-infected females, regardless the tested pair of mosquito population and virus strain and the gonotrophic cycles. Locomotor activity assays were performed in activity monitors, an average of 5th, 6th and 7th days after infective feeding was calculated and a significant decrease in the locomotor activity in ZIKV infected females was observed. These results suggest that even when mosquitoes are infected with ZIKV, in places where there are many oviposition sites, they are able to maintain the dissemination of the vector population. Besides, the decreased locomotor activity does not seem to influence negatively in ZIKV transmission and may explain case clustering within households reported during Zika outbreaks such as in Rio de Janeiro 2015. High mosquito infestation index and abundant vector breeding sites may also influence this disease transmission.

+ Corresponding author e-mail: RVB;;

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