Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mosquitoes reared in cooler temperatures have weaker immune systems

Date:
June 3, 2013
Source:
Virginia Tech
Summary:
Scientists have discovered mosquitoes reared in cooler temperatures have weaker immune systems, making them more susceptible to dangerous viruses and thus more likely to transmit diseases to people. The finding may have a bearing on urban epidemics resulting from viral diseases, such as West Nile fever and chikungunya fever, which are transmitted by infected mosquitoes.

This image shows green fluorescent protein in the eyes of the mosquito Aedes aegypti when immunocompromised by cooler temperatures (left) compared with an immunocompetent sibling (right).
Credit: Virginia Tech

Urban epidemics resulting from viral diseases, such as West Nile fever and chikungunya fever, are transmitted by infected mosquitoes.

Related Articles


According to Virginia Tech scientists, mosquitoes reared in cooler temperatures have weaker immune systems, making them more susceptible to dangerous viruses and more likely to transmit them to people.

The connection between temperature and the mosquito's immune system, published May 31 in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, is significant in light of global climate change, said researchers Kevin Myles and Zach Adelman, associate professors of entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and affiliates of the Fralin Life Science Institute.

"Our data offers a plausible hypothesis for how changes in weather influence the transmission of these diseases and will likely continue to do so in the future," Myles said.

A variety of weather anomalies may occur with global changes in climate. However, predicting what these weather anomalies will be is difficult due to the enormous complexity involved. Nevertheless, the work of Myles and Adelman suggest that it would be unwise to focus solely on warmer temperatures when considering links between climate change and disease transmission.

"Mosquitoes like to breed and lay their eggs in dark, cool places because that means the water will last longer," Adelman said. "They don't lay their eggs in sunny spots because that will dry the water out in a day or two. Although this has been known of some time, we are just learning about its potential affects on the mosquito immune response. Hopefully, this information can be used to build better models that more correctly predict when we'll have disease transmission."

Current computational outbreak models consider such things as meteorological variables and human population indexes but have failed to consider the effect of temperature on mosquito immunity, he added. Specifically, Adelman and Myles found that the mosquito's RNA interference pathway is impaired when reared at cooler temperatures.

The rate of transmission of both diseases has increased with outbreaks occurring in unexpected places, such as the introductions of West Nile virus to New York in 1999, and chikungunya virus to Italy and France in 2007 and 2010.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zach N. Adelman, Michelle A. E. Anderson, Michael R. Wiley, Marta G. Murreddu, Glady Hazitha Samuel, Elaine M. Morazzani, Kevin M. Myles. Cooler Temperatures Destabilize RNA Interference and Increase Susceptibility of Disease Vector Mosquitoes to Viral Infection. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2013; 7 (5): e2239 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002239

Cite This Page:

Virginia Tech. "Mosquitoes reared in cooler temperatures have weaker immune systems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130603183210.htm>.
Virginia Tech. (2013, June 3). Mosquitoes reared in cooler temperatures have weaker immune systems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130603183210.htm
Virginia Tech. "Mosquitoes reared in cooler temperatures have weaker immune systems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130603183210.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins