Sylvatic mosquito diversity in kenya—considering enzootic ecology of arboviruses in an era of deforestation

Gillian Eastwood, Rosemary C. Sang, Joel Lutomiah, Philip Tunge, Scott C. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As new and re-emerging vector-borne diseases are occurring across the world, East Africa represents an interesting location, being the origin of several arboviruses with a history of urbanization and global spread. Rapid expansion of urban populations and alteration of natural habitats creates the opportunity for arboviruses to host-switch from wild, sylvatic hosts or vectors into urban transmission affecting human populations. Although mosquito surveillance regularly takes place in urban areas of Kenya, for example identifying vectors of dengue virus or malaria viruses, little work has been carried out to determine the distribution and abundance of sylvatic vectors. Here, we describe the mosquito vector species and diversity collected at twelve forest habitats of rural Kenya. We conducted arbovirus screening of over 14,082 mosquitoes (47 species, 11 genera) as 1520 pools, and detected seven viruses (six bunyaviruses, and one flavivirus-bunyavirus co-infection) isolated from pools of Aedes dentatus, Anopheles funestus, Culex annulioris, and Cx. vansomereni. Awareness of sylvatic vector species and their location is a critical part of understanding the ecological foci and enzootic cycling of pathogens that may be of concern to public, animal or wildlife health. As natural ecosystems come under anthropogenic pressures, such knowledge can inform us of the One Health potential for spillover or spillback leading to outbreaks, and assist in vector control strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number342
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Arbovirus
  • Disease
  • Distribution
  • East Africa
  • Emerging
  • Mosquito
  • Species diversity
  • Sylvatic
  • Vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Sylvatic mosquito diversity in kenya—considering enzootic ecology of arboviruses in an era of deforestation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this