Potential of Aedes albopictus to cause the emergence of arboviruses in Morocco.
In 2015, the mosquito Aedes albopictus was detected in Rabat, Morocco. This invasive species can be involved in the transmission of more than 25 arboviruses. It is known that each combination of mosquito population and virus genotype leads to a specific interaction that can shape the outcome of infection. Testing the vector competence of local mosquitoes is therefore a prerequisite to assess the risks of emergence. A field-collected strain of Ae. albopictus from Morocco was experimentally infected with dengue (DENV), chikungunya (CHIKV), zika (ZIKV) and yellow fever (YFV) viruses. We found that this species can highly transmit CHIKV and to a lesser extent, DENV, ZIKV and YFV. Viruses can be detected in mosquito saliva at day 3 (CHIKV), day 14 (DENV and YFV), and day 21 (ZIKV) post-infection. These results suggest that the local transmission of these four arboviruses by Ae. albopictus newly introduced in Morocco is a likely scenario.