Faustine Ryckebusch, Michèle Berthet, Dorothée Missé and Valérie Choumet
Disease caused by the Zika virus (ZIKV) is a public health emergency of international concern. Recent epidemics have emerged in different regions of the world and attest to the ability of the virus to spread wherever its vector, Aedes species mosquitoes, can be found. We have compared the transmission of ZIKV by Ae. aegypti (PAEA strain originating from Tahiti) and by a French population of Ae. albopictus to better assess their competence and the potential risk of the emergence of ZIKV in Europe. We assessed the transmission of ZIKV by Ae. albopictus in temperatures similar to those in Southern France during the summer. Our study shows that the extrinsic incubation period of Ae. aegypti for transmission was shorter than that of Ae. albopictus. Both vectors were able to transmit ZIKV from 10 to 14 days post-infection. Ae. aegypti, however, had a longer transmission period than the French population of Ae. albopictus. Although the salivary glands of both vectors are highly infected, transmission rates of ZIKV to saliva remain relatively low. These observations may suggest that the risk of emergence of ZIKV in Europe could be low.