Aedes is a genus of mosquitoes originally found in tropical and subtropical zones, but now found on all continents excluding Antarctica. Some species have been spread by human activity. Aedes albopictus, a most invasive species, was recently spread to the New World, including the US, by the used-tire trade. First described and named by Meigen in 1818, the generic name comes from the Ancient Greek ἀηδής, aēdēs, meaning "unpleasant" or "odious". Some species of this genus transmit serious diseases, including dengue fever, yellow fever, and chikungunya. In Polynesia, the species Aedes polynesiensis is responsible for the transmission of human lymphatic filariasis.
Aedes can be detected and monitored by ovitraps.
The yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) genome was sequenced by the Broad Institute and The Institute for Genomic Research. The initial assembly was released in August 2005; a draft sequence of the genome and preliminary analysis was published in June 2007. The annotated genome is available at VectorBase.
Aedes mosquitoes are visually distinctive because they have noticeable black and white markings on their body and legs. Unlike most other mosquitoes, they are active and bite only during the daytime.
Role in disease
Members of the Aedes genus are known vectors for numerous viral infections. The two most prominent species that transmit viruses are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus which transmit the viruses that cause dengue fever, yellow fever, West Nile fever, chikungunya, and eastern equine encephalitis, along with many other, less notable diseases. Infections with these viruses are typically accompanied by a fever, and, in some cases, encephalitis, which can lead to death. A vaccine to provide protection from yellow fever exists, and measures to prevent mosquito bites include: insecticides such as DDT, mosquito traps, insect repellents, and mosquito nets.
Systematics and phylogeny
The genus was named by Johann Wilhelm Meigen in 1818. As historically defined, the genus contains over 700 species (see the list of Aedes species). The genus has been divided into several subgenera (Aedes, Diceromyia, Finlaya, Stegomyia, etc.), most of which have been recently treated by some authorities as full genera.
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- "Aedes aegypti". VectorBase. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- Le Goff, G.; Brengues, C.; Robert, V. (2013). "Stegomyia mosquitoes in Mayotte, taxonomic study and description of Stegomyia pia n. sp.". Parasite 20: 31. doi:10.1051/parasite/2013030. PMC 3770211. PMID 24025625.
- John F. Reinert, Ralph E. Harbach & Ian J. Kitching (2004). "Phylogeny and classification of Aedini (Diptera: Culicidae), based on morphological characters of all life stages" (PDF). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 142 (3): 289–368. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2004.00144.x.