Environmental drivers of Zika transmission and control


This RAPID award will address gaps in our knowledge about i) the time it takes for the Zika virus to become infectious in a mosquito, ii) the proportion of a mosquito population that becomes infectious, and iii) mosquito survival in the two Aedes species shown to transmit the Zika virus, species that are also found in the United States. To predict the seasonal and geographic distribution of potential outbreaks, the project will examine temperature and transmission relationships that can alter viral dynamics in the mosquito. This study will enhance our understanding of how Zika and other pathogens are transmitted and will help in the design of control measures. There is an urgent need to understand and predict the emergence and transmission potential of Zika because of its unique characteristics, e.g., fetal abnormalities and the potential of transporting Zika to new regions of the world, including the United States. Results from this project will be relevant to the Zika public health emergency, and the researchers have set in place mechanisms to share quality-assured interim and final data as rapidly and widely as possible, including with public health and research communities. This project will characterize Zika viral dynamics, which impact the transmission potential. The study will evaluate the extrinsic incubation period (EIP), vector competence, and mosquito survival in field-derived Aedes aegypti and A. albopictus. These characteristics will be examined using a range of viral doses reflective of asymptomatic and symptomatic human infections. The study investigates the relationship between temperature and transmission potential to predict the seasonal and geographic Zika transmission models for these two species. From these results, predictive models of Zika transmission and sensitivity analyses will be used to assess mosquito control efficiency. Ultimately, this project will produce a framework for assessing sources of environmental, genetic, and anthropogenic variation that influence disease transmission and risk from these mosquitos.


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