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Open Access Research article

Aedes albopictus in Lebanon, a potential risk of arboviruses outbreak

Nabil Haddad1, Laurence Mousson2, Marie Vazeille2, Soulaima Chamat1, Joelle Tayeh1, Mike Abboud Osta3 and Anna-Bella Failloux2*

Author Affiliations

1 Lebanese University, Faculty of Public Health-II, Laboratory of Immunology, Fanar, Lebanon

2 Institut Pasteur, Department of Virology, Arboviruses and Insect Vectors, 25-28 rue du Dr Roux, 75724, Paris cedex 15, France

3 Department of Biology, American University of Beirut, Bliss Street, Beirut, Lebanon

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:300  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-300

Published: 14 November 2012

Abstract

Background

The mosquito Aedes albopictus is undergoing a worldwide expansion with potential consequences on transmission of various arboviruses. This species has been first detected in Lebanon in 2003.

Methods

We performed a phylogenetic study of Lebanese specimens and assessed their host preference by detecting human, cat, dog and chicken immunoglobulins in mosquito blood-meals. Their capacity to transmit arboviruses was investigated by providing infectious blood-meals using an artificial feeding system followed by detection of viral particles in mosquito saliva.

Results

Our results suggest that Lebanese strains are part of the recent wave of Ae. albopictus expansion and are related to some European, African and North American strains. They exhibited a host preference towards humans and an important capacity to transmit arboviruses. Indeed, we showed that Ae. albopictus was able to transmit chikungunya (CHIKV), dengue (DENV) and West-Nile (WNV) viruses. At day 10 after an infectious blood-meal at a titer of 108 MID50/ml, 30% of mosquitoes delivered an average of 515 ± 781 viral particles of CHIKV in saliva collected using a forced salivation technique and 55% with an average of 245 ± 304 viral particles when infected with WNV. Whereas DENV was not found in saliva at day 10 post-infection (pi), an average of 174 ± 455 viral particles was detected in 38.1% of mosquitoes tested at day 21 after an infectious blood-meal at a higher titer of 109 MID50/ml.

Conclusion

These observations suggest that Ae. albopictus around Beirut is a potential vector of the three tested arboviruses.