Effects of constant temperature and daily fluctuating temperature on the transovarial transmission and life cycle of Aedes albopictus infected with Zika virus

Front Microbiol. 2023 Jan 4;13:1075362. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.1075362. eCollection 2022.


Introduction: Numerous studies on the mosquito life cycle and transmission efficacy were performed under constant temperatures. Mosquito in wild, however, is not exposed to constant temperature but is faced with temperature variation on a daily basis.

Methods: In the present study, the mosquito life cycle and Zika virus transmission efficiency were conducted at daily fluctuating temperatures and constant temperatures. Aedes albopictus was infected with the Zika virus orally. The oviposition and survival of the infected mosquitoes and hatching rate, the growth cycle of larvae at each stage, and the infection rate (IR) of the progeny mosquitoes were performed at two constant temperatures (23°C and 31°C) and a daily temperature range (DTR, 23-31°C).

Results: It showed that the biological parameters of mosquitoes under DTR conditions were significantly different from that under constant temperatures. Mosquitoes in DTR survived longer, laid more eggs (mean number: 36.5 vs. 24.2), and had a higher hatching rate (72.3% vs. 46.5%) but a lower pupation rate (37.9% vs. 81.1%) and emergence rate (72.7% vs. 91.7%) than that in the high-temperature group (constant 31°C). When compared to the low-temperature group (constant 23°C), larvae mosquitoes in DTR developed faster (median days: 9 vs. 23.5) and adult mosquitoes carried higher Zika viral RNA load (median log10 RNA copies/μl: 5.28 vs. 3.86). However, the temperature or temperature pattern has no effect on transovarial transmission.

Discussion: Those results indicated that there are significant differences between mosquito development and reproductive cycles under fluctuating and constant temperature conditions, and fluctuating temperature is more favorable for mosquitos' survival and reproduction. The data would support mapping and predicting the distribution of Aedes mosquitoes in the future and establishing an early warning system for Zika virus epidemics.

Keywords: Aedes albopictus; Zika virus; daily fluctuating temperature; life cycle; transmission efficacy.

Grant support

This study was funded by grants from the Infective Diseases Prevention and Cure Project of China (Grant no. 2017ZX10303404).