• Rose Webster

    I was in the queue today waiting to ask a question, actually. Most of the questions you had were regarding the data, the actual numbers of pregnant women, that sort of thing.

    I had four questions for the CDC and I shared these with others (including doctors, scientists, and public health experts):

    1) Why has the CDC ignored the evidence by Dr. Ayres (submitted over a year ago), and confirmed by Drs. Hunter, Guedes, Guo et al., and just recently, Evans et al. that point to Culex as vectors of Zika?

    Culex bite at night, so mosquito bed nets at night would be crucial information for new mothers to know about.

    The whole truth: No infected mosquitoes were collected from Yap States and French Polynesia during their Zika outbreaks. They simply ASSUMED that Aedes species were vectors, although they never fulfilled the criteria: #3 and #4, i.e., ÔÇťrepeated demonstration that suspected vectors, collected under natural conditions, harbor the identifiable, infective stage of the pathogenÔÇŁ and ÔÇťa biological association between clinical cases and infected mosquitoes in time and space,ÔÇŁ respectively. Source: Dr. Walter S. Leal's paper "Zika mosquito vectors: the jury is still out".

    On September 7th, Guo et al. published "Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus: a potential vector to transmit Zika virus" but it received zero press. It stated:

    "These laboratory results clearly demonstrate the potential role of Cx. p. quinquefasciatus as a vector of ZIKV in China. Because there are quite different vector management strategies required to control Aedes (Stegomyia) species and Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, an integrated approach may be required should a Zika epidemic occur."

    2) Why is the CDC ignoring the phylogenetics of Zika and lumping it in with dengue and yellow fever when Zika is supported 99 percent within the clade beside West Nile virus?

    And since over 300 birds carry West Nile, it makes sense to look for Zika in birds, right? Doesn't the CDC agree with that?

    3) Why is the CDC ignoring the evidence that almost half of bulbuls tested by Okia et al., 1971 had Zika?

    Red-whiskered and red-vented bulbuls have been introduced into regions where Zika is spreading – as have Wolbachia-infected Aedes mosquito releases.

    Because when all the evidence is considered, it makes sense to look for Zika in Culex and birds. Birds can amplify West Nile a billion times. One bird can infect 100s of mosquitoes.

    And we should assess how Wolbachia has been introduced into the food chain where it doesn't belong. Some species of Culex larvae actually prey upon Aedes larvae.

    Wolbachia is responsible for the most widespread pandemics in the animal kingdom (LePage and Bordenstein, 2013).

    Yet, safety tests were never carried out on vertebrate species prior to Wolbachia-infected mosquito releases (carried out in Brazil, Columbia, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Australia, California, and Florida).

    Wolbachia can survive about a week in a dead host; Zika can survive 5 days in a dead host – ample time for other organisms and mosquitoes to acquire and spread Wolbachia and/or Zika to vertebrates. And lateral gene transfers to other species have happened.

    This could be the reason that Zika is spreading out of control. Culex that naturally acquire Wolbachia are better vectors of malaria and West Nile virus (very similar to Zika).

    4) When will Culex, birds, and Wolbachia become top CDC research priorities?

    I leave you with two study quotes:

    "Wolbachia spp. should be further evaluated as causes of human infection, especially as Wolbachia infection of mosquitoes is increasingly considered to be a tool for interfering with mosquito-borne transmission of human pathogens" (Chen, Dong, et al., 2015). NOTE: Filariodea coxI gene was not found in this case. Source: http://www.clinicalmicrobiologyandinfection.com/article/S1198-743X(14)00040-8/fulltext

    "… including Culex quinquefasciatus and Cx. pipiens. We suggest that empirical studies prioritize these species … " (Evans et al., 2017). Source: http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/02/06/077966

    Thank you for reading this comment in full and taking to heart what others have figured out.

  • Brian Philcox

    Does the Zika infection affect 100s of Canadian babies? Perhaps 1000s? What if there was a substance encountered during pregnancy that affected hundreds of thousands of Canadians alive today? Actually, there is: prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) has a likely prevalence rate of 3-5% of newborns. Even the Health Canada conservative estimate of 1% has resulted in at least 355,000 Canadians today struggling with brain abnormalities and other birth defects commonly known as FASD. When will CDC raise the alarm about the most common, most expensive, yet most preventable of all mental disorders in the industrialized world? PAE robs too many children of their full potential to compete, thrive and contribute to society. Urge our governments to combat this scourge that is largely invisible but rends the fabric of our society.

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