Research Summary: Dengue Infection Increases the Locomotor Activity of Aedes aegypti Females

ABSTRACT

Background

Aedes aegypti is the main vector of the virus causing Dengue fever, a disease that has increased dramatically in importance in recent decades, affecting many tropical and sub-tropical areas of the globe. It is known that viruses and other parasites can potentially alter vector behavior. We investigated whether infection with Dengue virus modifies the behavior of Aedes aegypti females with respect to their activity level.


Methods/Principal Findings

We carried out intrathoracic Dengue 2 virus (DENV-2) infections in Aedes aegypti females and recorded their locomotor activity behavior. We observed an increase of up to ∼50% in the activity of infected mosquitoes compared to the uninfected controls.


Conclusions

Dengue infection alters mosquito locomotor activity behavior. We speculate that the higher levels of activity observed in infected Aedes aegypti females might involve the circadian clock. Further studies are needed to assess whether this behavioral change could have implications for the dynamics of Dengue virus transmission.

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Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 8-March-2011

Author(s): Lima-Camara T., Bruno R., Luz P., Castro M., Lourenço-de-Oliveira R., Sorgine M., Peixoto A.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0017690

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