No licensed vaccine or antiviral drug against dengue virus (DENV) is available; therefore, most of the effort to prevent this disease is focused on reducing vector-host interactions. One of the most widely accepted methods of blocking vector-human contact is to use insect repellents to interfere with mosquito host-seeking behavior. Some arboviruses can replicate in the nervous system of the vector, raising the concern that arboviral infection may alter the insect behavioral response toward chemical stimuli. Three different Aedes aegypti (L.) mosquito cohorts: DENV-1-injected, diluent-injected, and uninjected were subjected to behavioral tests using a high-throughput screening system with 2.5% DEET and 0.14% DEET on 1, 4, 7, 10, 14, and 17 d postinjection. All test cohorts exhibited significant contact irritant or escape responses when they were exposed to 2.5% or 0.14% DEET. However, we found no biologically relevant irritancy response change in DENV-1-infected Ae. aegypti mosquitoes when they were exposed to DEET. Further studies evaluating the effects of other arboviral infections on insect repellents activity are necessary in order to provide better recommendation on the prevention of vector-borne disease transmission.
Keywords: Aedes aegypti; DEET; behavior; dengue.
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