Jan 21, 2019 | Updated: 04:07 PM EST

Zika Virus Again: Asian Tiger Backyard Mosquito Poses Carrier Threat As Similar Traces Were Found

Apr 17, 2017 05:30 PM EDT


As Zika Virus infested Brazil a year ago through the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti), a new possible carrier of the virus was found. Scientists then warn the public as the same genetic material of Zika was found on Asian tiger mosquitoes.

According to Web MD, the study published in the Entomological Society of America's Journal of Medical Entomology last April 13 was reported to focus whether what is the role of Asian tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) on Zika virus. The team then thought of hatching the eggs of the backyard mosquitoes they had found in Brazil’s outbreak last 2015.

Yet, as they hatch the eggs, they compared the genetic material to Zika’s RNA but not the live Zika virus. Surprising as it is, they had found similar genetic pieces between the two. The Asian tiger mosquito males were found to be positive on the test.

Asian tiger mosquitoes were also mentioned to have migrated in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania since 1985 New York Post reported. It was also mentioned that Zika’s main carrier, yellow fever mosquitoes prefer tropical or subtropical climates but been found in 23 states, including New York and Maine.

With that said, the team mentioned that it isn’t still clear whether the Asian tiger mosquito could transmit Zika. Study author Chelsea Smartt then concluded that further extensive research must be conducted and awareness of the public must be spread out. But as the study didn’t found out whether it transmits Zika, it is still important as it points out to study and found out other possible carriers of the virus.

"The detection of Zika virus RNA from five adults Ae. albopictus reared from eggs collected during the 2015 outbreak in Camaçari, Bahia, Brazil, is consistent with the potential for vertical or sexual transmission of Zika virus by Ae. albopictus; however, evidence supporting this was not conclusive," Smartt and her colleagues concluded in the study.

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