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Blood-feeding behavior of Aedes albopictus, a vector of Chikungunya on La Réunion

Delatte H., Desvars A., Bouétard A., Bord S., Gimonneau G., Vourc'h G., Fontenille D., Roger F.. 2010. Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 10 (3) : p. 249-258.

DOI: 10.1089/vbz.2009.0026

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) has long been considered to be transmitted to humans by the human-biting mosquito Aedes aegypti, especially in Africa. However, the recent outbreak of CHIKV involved another vector, Aedes albopictus, and serological data in the literature suggest that several species of domestic or human-related vertebrates can be contaminated by this virus. However, the role of Ae. albopictus mosquitoes as potential enzootic vectors for CHIKV has not yet been evaluated. Here we investigate Ae. albopictus feeding and resting behaviors in an area where a CHIKV epidemic recently occurred, which means deciphering host-seeking and feeding behaviors on several vertebrate species, measuring endophagous=exophagous (activity), endophilic= exophilic (resting) behaviors and its diel (24 h, day=night) biting activity. Ae. albopictus was found to have bimodal daily feeding activities and was found to have exophagic (89%) and exophilic (87%) behaviors. Ae. albopictus showed an opportunistic feeding behavior on a wide range of hosts (from cold-blooded to warmblooded animals), supporting that it can be implicated in various vertebrate-virus pathosystems. However, with equal availability of one of the four vertebrate hosts (calf, chicken, dog, and goat) proposed against human, Ae. albopictus significantly preferred human, supporting earlier data about its high degree of anthropophily. Multiple blood feeding was also reported in every combination (animal=human) offered to Ae. albopictus, enlightening the higher risks to spread an arbovirus to human population because of interrupted feeding. Such catholic behavior suggests that Ae. albopictus may act as a bridge vector for zoonotic viruses. Further epidemiological implications of this issue are discussed.

Mots-clés : alphavirus; aedes albopictus; Épidémiologie; vecteur de maladie; sang; comportement alimentaire; préférence alimentaire; vertèbre; entomologie; genre humain; virus de chikungunya; réunion; france

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