Preprint Review Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

An Updated Review of the Invasive Aedes Albopictus in the Americas; Geographical Distribution, Host Feeding Patterns, Arbovirus Infection, and the Potential for Vertical Transmission of Dengue Virus

Version 1 : Received: 13 July 2021 / Approved: 14 July 2021 / Online: 14 July 2021 (14:46:58 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 30 September 2021 / Approved: 30 September 2021 / Online: 30 September 2021 (11:48:25 CEST)

How to cite: Garcia-Rejon, J.E.; Navarro, J.; Cigarroa-Toledo, N.; Baak-Baak, C.M. An Updated Review of the Invasive Aedes Albopictus in the Americas; Geographical Distribution, Host Feeding Patterns, Arbovirus Infection, and the Potential for Vertical Transmission of Dengue Virus. Preprints 2021, 2021070339 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0339.v2). Garcia-Rejon, J.E.; Navarro, J.; Cigarroa-Toledo, N.; Baak-Baak, C.M. An Updated Review of the Invasive Aedes Albopictus in the Americas; Geographical Distribution, Host Feeding Patterns, Arbovirus Infection, and the Potential for Vertical Transmission of Dengue Virus. Preprints 2021, 2021070339 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0339.v2).


Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus is a mosquito native to Southeast Asia. Currently, it has a wide distribution in America where natural infection with arboviruses of medical and veterinary importance has been reported. In spite of their importance in the transmission of endemic arbovirus, basic information of parameters affecting their vectorial capacity is poorly investigated. The aim of the work was to update the distribution range of Ae. albopictus in the Americas, review the blood-feeding patterns and compare the minimum infection rate (MIR) of the dengue virus (DENV) between studies of vertical and horizontal transmission. The current distribution of Ae. albopictus encompasses 21 countries in the Americas. Extensive review has been conducted for the blood-feeding patterns of Ae. albopictus. The results suggest that the mosquito is capable of feeding on 16 species of mammals and five species of avian. Humans, dogs, and rats are the most common host. Eight arboviruses with the potential to infect humans and animals have been isolated in Ae. albopictus. In the United States of America (USA), Eastern equine encephalitis virus, Keystone virus, La Crosse Virus, West Nile virus, and Cache Valley virus were isolated in the Asian mosquito. In Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Costa Rica, DENV (all serotypes) has been frequently identified in field-caught Ae. albopictus. Overall, the estimated MIR in Ae. albopictus infected with DENV is similar between horizontal (10.95) and vertical transmission (8.28). However, in vertical transmission, there is a difference in the MIR values if the DENV is identified from larvae or adults (males and females emerged from a collection of eggs or larvae). MIR estimated from larvae is 14.04 and in adults is 4.04. In conclusion, it has to be highlighted that Ae. albopictus is an invasive mosquito with wide phenotypic plasticity to adapt to broad and new areas, it is highly efficient to transmit the DENV horizontally and vertically, it can participate in the inter-endemic transmission of the dengue disease, and it can spread zoonotic arboviruses across forest and urban settings.


Asian tiger mosquito; feeding pattern; minimum infection rate; emerging arboviruses; dengue virus

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 30 September 2021
Commenter: Carlos M. Baak Baak
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: 1) Title should not be a statement – shall be changed to a more concise and meaningful oneREPLY: The title was modified as " An updated review of the invasive Aedes albopictus in the Americas; geographical distribution, host feeding patterns, arbovirus infection, and the potential for vertical transmission of Dengue virus".Although we also accept any title that you suggest. 
2) Rather concentrating on published papers, abstract shall provide a proper literature insight on what the review wants to conveyREPLY: The abstract was modified as suggested 
3) Better sets of keywords shall be usedREPLY: The sets of keywords were modified as: Asian tiger mosquito, feeding pattern, minimum infection rate, emerging arboviruses, dengue virus.  
4) Introduction shall follow a coherent order. Emphasis is given towards the vector or the virus?? A more detailed information on the impact of virus on human health status shall be added..not just their geographical distribution. REPLY: In the introduction, we add the burden of dengue in America because it is the disease that causes the highest morbidity and mortality. This virus is transmitted by Ae. albopictus and could impact transmission dynamics in the region. 
5) Statistical analysis methods shall be included in a separate section.. 2.1. or so.REPLY: a statistical analysis subsection was established. 
6) Formula shall be included in equation format.REPLY: The minimum infection rate was written in the formula format. 
7) Section headings shall be made concise and understandable. REPLY: We consider that the title of section 6 should be modified. “The minimum infection rate estimated in vertical and horizontal transmission of arboviruses” was changed to ” The minimum infection rate of the dengue virus”.    
8) Specifically, there are several cases throughout the manuscript in which sentence structure and choice of wording needs revision for accuracy and clarity (e.g., Lines 27, 28, 55, 71, 72, 184, 199, 201, 266). REPLY: The mentioned sentences were revised and corrected as suggested.Lines 27-28 were part of the summary, and it was rewritten.Line 55 was deleted and rewritten.The introduction was slightly modified in order and the original line 71 and 72 was deleted.Line 184 was revised and rewritten. Line 199 was deleted.Line 201 was revised and rewritten. Line 266 was revised and rewritten.   
9) The abbreviation “EE.UU.” occurs five times in the body of the paper, and eight times in Tables 1 & 3 – what does is it an abbreviation for? REPLY: We change “EE.UU.” to “USA”.   
10) Correct abbreviation for Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus in Line 164. REPLY: The name of the virus was reviewed and corrected as suggested 
11) Finally, scientific names should be italicized (Lines 143, 149-151).REPLY: The scientific names were italicized.  
12) Title – it seems the MIR were calculated for DENV not arboviruses in general. The title could be shortened to A review of invasive Aedes albopictus in the Americas.REPLY: In the first version, the MIR was calculated only for arboviruses in general. Now we also estimate the MIR for dengue. Interpretation was included in the manuscript. 
13) Line 71: It was first described in Tennessee (line 117) so this reference to ‘colonized’ and 36 years is confusing.REPLY: The paragraph was rewritten and cited as suggested. 
14) Readers might be more familiar with USA than EE.UU.REPLY: We change “EE.UU.” to “USA” as you suggest. 
15) It would be useful for readers to know which viruses were targeted by the PCR studies, perhaps in the Table. Presumably the PCR studies were not designed to detect all arboviruses – they were targeted at certain viruses. REPLY: In Table 3, there is a column that indicates the technique used to identify arboviruses. 
16) Line 195 – this paragraph seems to indicate that chikungunya is not transmitted by Ae. albopictus in the Americas. REPLY: It is correct, currently in America the chikungunya virus has not been identified in field-caught Aedes albopictus. 
17) Line 205 – to be a competent vector there need to have been transmission studies. The references indicate only that these viruses have been found in the Ae. albopictus.REPLY: The paragraph was corrected, the word "competent vector" was removed. 
18) Line 207 – if these publications only searched for DENV and ZIKA this does not preclude there being other viruses present. This should be made clear.  Also, which papers are these – consider citing Table 3 as a source for the references as in line 228.REPLY: The paragraph on line 207 and 228 were cited as suggested.  
19) Line 229 – these publications are not stipulated – are they in Table 3? They seem to all be DENV? If they were then it should be stated the MIR was calculated for DENV.REPLY: In the current version, the MIR was estimated for dengue and the interpretation and discussion was included.  
20) Line 232 – were there any differences in the pool sizes?  For MIR it is assumed that there is only one infected individual in each pool so differences in pool size might make a difference. REPLY: Yes, that's correct, the pool size in each study ranged from 10 to 50 mosquitoes. In the present work, the comparison of the MIR was an approximation. However, it provides the probability of finding arboviruses per -1000 Ae. albopictus tested. 
21) Line 240 - the authors should provide possible reasons for horizontal transmission being more common with Ae aegypti. REPLY: Some reasons for the effectiveness of Aedes aegypti in horizontal transmission was included as suggested
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