Anopheles albimanus is a Potential Alphavirus Vector in the Americas

Gerard Terradas, Mario Novelo, Hillery Metz, Marco Brustolin, Jason L. Rasgon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Despite its ecological flexibility and geographical co-occurrence with human pathogens, little is known about the ability of Anopheles albimanus to transmit arboviruses. To address this gap, we challenged An. albimanus females with four alphaviruses and one flavivirus and monitored the progression of infections. We found this species is an efficient vector of the alphaviruses Mayaro virus, O’nyong-nyong virus, and Sindbis virus, although the latter two do not currently exist in its habitat range. An. albimanus was able to become infected with Chikungunya virus, but virus dissemination was rare (indicating the presence of a midgut escape barrier), and no mosquito transmitted. Mayaro virus rapidly established disseminated infections in An. albimanus females and was detected in the saliva of a substantial proportion of infected mosquitoes. Consistent with previous work in other anophelines, we find that An. albimanus is refractory to infection with flaviviruses, a phenotype that did not depend on midgut-specific barriers. Our work demonstrates that An. albimanus may be a vector of neglected emerging human pathogens and adds to recent evidence that anophelines are competent vectors for diverse arboviruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-423
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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