Study of Fiocruz points mosquito transmitter as potential Zika virus

The survey was conducted by Fiocruz Pernambuco in the metropolitan area of ​​Recife.
22/07/2016 08h00 - Updated 22/07/2016 08h13
Photo: reproduction

A study of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) found the presence of Zika virus in mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus (scientific name of muriçoca or house mosquito) collected in the city of Recife. Thereby, the insect may be a potential virus transmisssor. Until now, no scientific research proves this possibility.

The survey was conducted by Fiocruz Pernambuco in the metropolitan area of ​​Recife, where the population of Culex quinquefasciatus is about 20 times greater than the Aedes aegypti, Main transmitter virus. Preliminary results of field research identified the presence of Culex quinquefasciatus infected naturally by Zika virus in three of 80 mosquito groups analyzed to date. In two of these samples, mosquitoes were not fed, demonstrating that the virus was widespread in the insect's body and not in a recent feeding on an infected host.

The collection of mosquitoes was made based on the addresses of the reported cases of Zika in the cities of Recife and Arcoverde, obtained from the Health Department of the State of Pernambuco (SES-PE).

The total number of mosquitoes examined in the study was approximately 500. The goal of the project is to compare the role of some species of mosquitoes in Brazil the transmission of arboviruses. Priority was given to Zika virus due to the outbreak of disease in Brazil and its connection with cases of microcephaly.

"The research simulates viremia condition of a real patient. Then, mosquitoes were collected at different times: no tempo zero, soon after infection, three days, seven days, 11 e 15 days after virus infection ", He explained the researcher and coordinator of the study, constancy Ayres.

A control group, mosquitoes fed with blood without the virus, It was also maintained. Each mosquitoes was dissected to extract the intestine, and salivary gland, tissues that present barriers to the development of the virus. The procedure takes place such that, the species is not Vector, at a certain moment the development of the virus is blocked by the mosquito. However, the vector species is, virus replication occurs, It disseminates in the insect's body and ends up infecting the salivary gland, from which it can be transmitted to other hosts during blood feeding, the release of saliva containing virus.

according to Constancia, from the third day after artificial feeding, has been possible to detect the presence of viruses in the salivary glands of the two species of mosquito investigated: "After seven days, It was observed the peak of infection in the salivary glands which was confirmed by electron microscopy ".

From the data obtained will require additional studies to assess the potential participation of Culex in the spread of Zika virus and its role in the epidemic. The current study has great relevance, since the vector control measures are different. To further evidence the results of, the control policy Zika epidemic still guided by the same guidelines, with its central focus on the control of Aedes aegypti.

Source: Agency Brazil

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