Relationship between Exposure to Vector Bites and Antibody Responses to Mosquito Salivary Gland Extracts


Mosquito-borne diseases are major health problems worldwide. Serological responses to mosquito saliva proteins may be useful in estimating individual exposure to bites from mosquitoes transmitting these diseases. However, the relationships between the levels of these IgG responses and mosquito density as well as IgG response specificity at the genus and/or species level need to be clarified prior to develop new immunological markers to assess human/vector contact. To this end, a kinetic study of antibody levels against several mosquito salivary gland extracts from southeastern French individuals living in three areas with distinct ecological environments and, by implication, distinct Aedes caspius mosquito densities were compared using ELISA. A positive association was observed between the average levels of IgG responses against Ae. caspius salivary gland extracts and spatial Ae. caspius densities. Additionally, the average level of IgG responses increased significantly during the peak exposure to Ae. caspius at each site and returned to baseline four months later, suggesting short-lived IgG responses. The species-specificity of IgG antibody responses was determined by testing antibody responses to salivary gland extracts from Cx. pipiens, a mosquito that is present at these three sites at different density levels, and from two other Aedes species not present in the study area (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). The IgG responses observed against these mosquito salivary gland extracts contrasted with those observed against Ae. caspius salivary gland extracts, supporting the existence of species-specific serological responses. By considering different populations and densities of mosquitoes linked to environmental factors, this study shows, for the first time, that specific IgG antibody responses against Ae. caspius salivary gland extracts may be related to the seasonal and geographical variations in Ae. caspius density. Characterisation of such immunological-markers may allow the evaluation of the effectiveness of vector-control strategies or estimation of the risk of vector-borne disease transmission.

In Plos One.