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Aedes aegypti

Image: 
Aedes aegypti
Community contact: 
Dave Severson
Body: 

Aedes aegypti exists in at least two forms (considered either subspecies or separate species according to different authors), namely A. aegypti formosus (the original wild type found in Africa) and A. aegypti aegypti (the worldwide urban form). The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti aegypti, has a worldwide distribution in the tropics and subtropics where it is the main vector of both dengue and yellow fever viruses. It can also transmit chikungunya and Zika viruses.

Short Name: 
aaegypti
Organism taxonomy: 

Anopheles coluzzii

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Community contact: 
Nora Besansky
Body: 

Anopheles coluzzii, formerly known as Anopheles gambiae M molecular form, was defined as a separate species in 2013 (Coetzee et al.). An. coluzzii belongs to the Anopheles gambiae species complex, which consists of at least seven species.

Maureen Coetzee, Richard H. Hunt, Richard Wilkerson, Alessandra Della Torre, Mamadou B. Coulibaly & Nora J. Besansky. 2013. Anopheles coluzzii and Anopheles amharicus, new members of the Anopheles gambiae complex. Zootaxa 3619 (3): 246–274.

Short Name: 
acoluzzii
Organism taxonomy: 

Anopheles gambiae

Image: 
Anopheles gambiae
Community contact: 
Frank Collins
Body: 

Range

Anopheles gambiae senso stricto is the primary mosquito vector responsible for the transmission of malaria in most of sub-Saharan Africa. It is a member of a species complex that includes at least seven morphologically indistinguishable species in the Series Pyretophorus in the Anopheles subgenus Cellia. Anopheles gambiae feeds preferentially on humans and is one of the most efficient malaria vectors known. Anopheles gambiae senso stricto is now known to consist of two genetically distinct forms or incipient species, known formally as the A. gambiae M and A. gambiae S forms. Colonies of these two forms have also been sequenced, assembled and provided here on VectorBase as the A. gambiae Mali-NIH (M) and A. gambiae Pimperena (S) genomes.

Habitats

An. gambiae larvae are generally considered to typically inhabit sunlit, shallow, temporary bodies of fresh water such as ground depressions, puddles, pools and hoof prints . This characteristic may allow predator avoidance as the larvae are able to develop very quickly (~six days from egg to adult under optimal conditions), possibly in response to the ephemeral nature of such larval habitats. An. gambiae larval habitats are therefore often described as containing no (or very sparse) vegetation due to their temporary nature but the great diversity of habitats utilised by An. gambiae includes vegetated (e.g. rice fields) sites. An. gambiae larvae have been reported from habitats containing floating and submerged algae, emergent grass, rice, or ‘short plants’ and from sites devoid of any vegetation, The variability of larval habitats can be related to the known forms of An. gambiae (e.g. M and S, or Forest, Bamako, Savanna, Mopti and Bissau). For example, the Mopti and M forms are associated with semi-permanent, often man-made, larval habitats such as rice fields or flooded areas, whereas the Savanna/Bamako and S forms are seen more commonly in temporary, rain-dependent sites such as ground puddles.

Resting and feeding preferences

An. gambiae is highly anthropophilic, however, there are indications that An. gambiae can be less discriminant and more opportunistic in its host selection and that host choice is highly influenced by location, host availability and the genetic make-up of the mosquito population. Females of An. gambiae typically feed late at night and are often described as both endophagic and endophilic. Yet there is evidence that indoor and outoor biting are common and both indoor and outdoor resting behaviour appear to be regularly reported. For example, in southern Sierra Leone strong exophily has been demonstrated, linked to the Forest form. Conversely, endophilic behaviour has been linked to Savannah forms. As with host preference, this species appears to exhibit phenotypic plasticity and opportunism in resting locations.

Vectorial capacity

An. gambiae is considered to be one of the most efficient vectors of malaria in the world.

This text was modified from Sinka ME et al. (2010) The dominant Anopheles vectors of human malaria in Africa, Europe and the Middle East: occurrence data, distribution maps and bionomic précis Parasites & Vectors 3:117.

Short Name: 
agambiae
Organism taxonomy: 

Anopheles stephensi

Image: 
Anopheles stephensi
Community contact: 
Jake Tu (Indian), Nora Besansky and Dan Neafsey (SDA-500)
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Range

Anopheles stephensi Liston is a major malaria vector with a geographical range from the Middle East through the Indian subcontinent and China. Throughout its natural range, Anopheles stephensi is an important vector for both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. The strain used for this genome sequencing project is the Indian Wild Type strain originally established at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. It belongs to the "type" biological form and has a segregating 2Rb inversion.

Habitats

Larvae of An. stephensi breed in various artificial containers in homes and collections of water associated with construction sites and other industrial locations. In rural areas, An. stephensi larvae utilise fresh-water pools, stream margins and stream beds, catch basins, seepage canals, wells and domestic water-storage containers. Larvae have also been found in domestic wells, overhead water tanks, room coolers, cisterns and roof gutters in the city of Delhi, but greater numbers of larvae are typically found outdoors compared with indoors. Larvae of the mysorensis form (distinguishable by egg morphology) appear to exclusively inhabit stone pots and earthenware containers. In rural areas of Gujarat, An. stephensi is associated with canal-irrigated, non-irrigated and riverine villages all year round, but generally in low densities. In urban areas, An. stephensi is found throughout the year, but is most abundant in the summer months (between June and August), which coincides with the peak period of malaria transmission.

Resting and feeding preferences

An. stephensi is generally considered to be an endophilic and endophagic species even though it will bite outdoors during the warmer summer months due to greater outdoor activity of humans and domestic animals. This species rests primarily in temporary or poorly constructed human and animal shelters rather than brick structures. Outdoor blood-feeding activity varies seasonally, with females feeding later in the night during the summer months compared to the winter months. However, indoor biting frequencies of An. stephensi appear to show no marked seasonal variation during different months of the year. Blood-meal analyses of An. stephensi females collected in urban areas indicated an increased tendency to feed on humans rather than cattle and other indications of variable anthropophily have been observed, depending on the availability of alternative hosts.

Vectorial capacity

An. stephensi is recognised as an important vector of malaria in urban areas bordering the Persian Gulf, including western and northwestern India. There are three known forms of An. stephensi including the typical form which is an efficient vector of urban malaria, the intermediate form, which is typically found in rural villages and peri-urban areas, but very little is known about its vector status, and the mysorensis form which is restricted to rural areas with poor vectorial capacity due to its highly zoophilic behaviour. The mysorensis form is, however, considered an important vector in Iran.

This text was modified from Sinka ME et al. (2011) The dominant Anopheles vectors of human malaria in Asia-Pacific: occurrence data, distribution maps and bionomic précis Parasites & Vectors 4:89.

Short Name: 
astephensi
Organism taxonomy: 

Culex quinquefasciatus

Image: 
Culex quinquefasciatus
Community contact: 
Peter Atkinson
Body: 

The Culex pipiens complex is distributed worldwide and has two species formally recognized in the complex. One of these species is the tropical and subtropical C. quinquefasciatus (the southern house mosquito), vector of lymphatic filariasis and a number of arboviruses including St. Louis encephalitis virus and West Nile virus.

Short Name: 
cquinquefasciatus
Organism taxonomy: 

Glossina morsitans

Image: 
Glossina morsitans
Community contact: 
Serap Aksoy
Body: 

Male and female tsetse flies are the vectors of the trypanosomes that cause African sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in animals. It is conservatively estimated by the World Health Organization that there are currently between 300,000 and 500,000 cases of African sleeping sickness, with 60 million people at risk in 37 countries covering 40% of Africa. After a devastating epidemic in the early 20th century, when a million people died of sleeping sickness, the disease almost disappeared from Africa by the 1960s. However, we are now in the midst of another epidemic, with increasing numbers of new infections and mortality (55,000 deaths in 1993; 66,000 in 1999), and a disease burden of 2.05 million disability adjusted life years (DALY).

Glossina morsitans distribution is not accurately known in all countries. The subspecies G. morsitans submorsitans extends as a very large but broken belt throughout West Africa, into southern Sudan, northern Uganda.and Ethiopia. Very large belts of G. morsitans centralis occur in Zaire, Zambia, Angola, Botswana, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi; belts of G. morsitans morsitans occur in Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. The boundary separating the two subspecies G. morsitans centralis and G. morsitans morsitans corresponds roughly with the Atlantic/Indian Ocean watershed.

The project has been jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust, WHO/TDR, RIKEN, the University of Tokyo and NIH/NIAID.

Short Name: 
gmorsitans
Organism taxonomy: 

Ixodes scapularis

Image: 
Ixodes scapularis
Community contact: 
Catherine Hill
Body: 

Ixodes scapularis, Black-legged tick, is a hard-bodied tick from the Ixodidae family. Ix. scapularis is the primary vector for Lyme disease transmitting the pathogenic bacterium Borrelia burgdorfei.

Ixodes ticks also can transmit Ehrlichia, a gram-negative obligate intracellular bacteria that is responsible for Ehrlichiosis.

Ticks that transmit Borrelia burgdorferi to humans can also carry and transmit several other parasites, such as Theileria microti and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which cause the diseases babesiosis and human granulocytic anaplasmosis, respectively.

From Wikipedia: Ixodes scapularis is commonly known as the deer tick or blacklegged tick (although some people reserve the latter term for Ixodes pacificus, which is found on the West Coast of the USA), and in some parts of the USA as the bear tick. It is a hard-bodied tick (family Ixodidae) of the eastern and northern Midwestern United States. It is a vector for several diseases of animals, including humans (Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, etc) and is known as the deer tick due to its habit of parasitizing the white-tailed deer.

Short Name: 
iscapularis
Organism taxonomy: 

Lutzomyia longipalpis

Image: 
Lutzomyia longipalpis
Community contact: 
Rod Dillon
Body: 

The sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis is distributed from Mexico to Argentina, including all the countries of Central America (except Belize) and most of tropical South America east of the Andes (except Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana). Across its distribution range is the major vector of American visceral leishmaniasis. Studies suggest that L. longipalpis may be a single heterogeneous species or a species complex.

Short Name: 
llongipalpis
Organism taxonomy: 

Pediculus humanus

Image: 
Pediculus humanus
Community contact: 
Barry Pittendrigh
Body: 

The human body louse, Pediculus humanus corporis is the primary vector of the bacterial agents of louse-borne relapsing fever, trench fever, and epidemic typhus. Epidemic typhus, one of the most significant historical diseases of humans, is caused by Rickettsia prowazekii, a category B bioterrorism agent that can cause persistent human infection. Besides its notoriety as the agent of the recurrent chronic disease, trench fever, Bartonella quintana can cause endocarditis and is a common infection among the homeless. Borrelia recurrentis causes another recurrent fever in central and Eastern Africa that is characterized by significant morbidity and mortality. The genome sequences of R. prowazekii and B. quintana have been determined, as well as those of two species of Borrelia, so the body louse genome will enhance studies of host-vector-pathogen interactions.

Short Name: 
phumanus
Organism taxonomy: 

Phlebotomus papatasi

Image: 
Phlebotomus papatasi
Community contact: 
Mary Ann McDowell
Body: 

The sandfly Phlebotomus papatasi is the main vector of the Old World cutaneous leishmaniasis. It is distributed from Morocco to the Indian subcontinent and from southern Europe to central and eastern Africa.

Short Name: 
ppapatasi
Organism taxonomy: 

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