Another Type of Mosquito May Carry Zika

Genetic fragments, but not reside virus, have been identified researchers contact for much more testing of mosquito sorts

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Traces of Zika virus genetic material have been found in a second mosquito species, researchers report.

The primary carrier of Zika is the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). But researchers have now identified fragments of Zika RNA in the course of genetic testing of Asian tiger mosquitoes collected in Brazil.

This doesn’t prove that the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) can transmit Zika to individuals. But it does emphasize the want for additional analysis into other attainable carriers of Zika, according to study author Chelsea Smartt. She’s an associate professor from the Florida Healthcare Entomology Laboratory at the University of Florida, in Vero Beach.

“Our final results imply that Aedes albopictus might have a role in Zika virus transmission and should be of concern to public health,” Smartt stated in a news release from the Entomological Society of America.

“This mosquito is found worldwide, has a wide range of hosts and has adapted to colder climates. The part of this mosquito in Zika virus transmission wants to be assessed,” she added.

Smartt and her colleagues collected mosquitoes in Brazil and hatched the eggs. The researchers found Asian tiger males tested constructive for Zika RNA — but not the live Zika virus.

Smartt said “extensive analysis nonetheless needs to be accomplished” to determine whether or not this kind of mosquito can transmit Zika.

The new findings also underline the want for insect scientists and medical researchers to be extremely cautious.

“It is crucial to test all mosquitoes collected in areas with a higher number of Zika situations for Zika RNA, and if the mosquitoes are constructive for Zika RNA they should be tested for reside Zika virus prior to transport or use in a laboratory for experiments,” Smartt mentioned.

The study was published on the web April 13 in the Journal of Health-related Entomology.

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