Globally, mosquitoes are significant arthropod vectors of human and animal diseases. They are globally distributed throughout tropical and temperate regions adapted for their development and their survival due to the wet climate and the availavility of standing water sources which are necessary for the egg laying and the development of larvae.

Among the 3,548 known mosquito species, there are 3 sub-families [1]:

1) Anophelinae

2) Culicinae

3) Toxorhynchitinae


Among these sub-families, about 100 mosquito species carry one or several pathogens such as viruses, parasites or bacteria responsible for infectious diseases threatening the global health.

Indeed, these pathogens are transmitted to their hosts (animal or human) by the bite of an infected female mosquito during a blood meal in order to allow the production of their eggs.

The most known genera of mosquito such as  Anopheles genus belongs to the first sub-family while AedesCulex et Mansonia genera belong to the second sub-family.
However, those of the last sub-family are not hematophagous and are not able to transmit diseases, and besides, they were regularly used in the context of biological control to try to control the mosquito genera previously cited [2]–[4].

Among the most known mosquito-borne diseases, there are the:

    • Dengue virus transmitted by Aedes. aegypti and Aedes. albopictus
    • West-Nile virus transmitted by Culex. spp [5] or via birds previously infected by these mosquitoes.
    • Zika virus transmitted by Aedes. spp [6]
    • Chikungunya virus also transmitted by Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus (caglioti)
    • Yellow fever virus transmitted by Aedes. spp and Haemagogus. Spp
    • Western, eastern, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis essentially transmitted by Culex. spp and Culiseta. spp
    • Japanese encephalitis transmitted by Culex. spp
    • Californian encephalitis transmitted by Ochlerotatus. spp
    • Rift valley fever transmitted by Aedes. spp or Culex. spp or via the livestock previously infected by these mosquitoes
    • Tularémia (a bacterial disease) transmitted by CulexAedes, MansoniaPsorophoraDeinocerites and Coquillettidia. Spp [7], [8]
    • Malaria transmitted by Anopheles. spp to human and Culex. spp to birds
    • Filariasis essentially transmitted by Culex , Anopheles and Mansonia spp [9]



 Apart from the diversity of symptoms caused by these diseases like the high fever, headaches chills, muscular and joint pains, gastrointestinal and respiratory distress, etc…, other symptoms, less known by health services can occur like ocular symptoms.
Recently, the team from the Vision Center of Excellence of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Bethesda, USA) did a significant bibliographic research concerning the different ocular manifestations due to the mosquito-borne diseases.  
From 482 scientific publications, they were able to provide a complete list of the different ocular symptoms according to each disease (Table 1).
The review is published in the Military Medicine [10].

Some of them are rare and cause few ocular symptoms. Therefore, they are not cited in the following table:

Viral diseasesBacterial diseaseParasitic diseases
Ocular symptomsDengueWest-Nile feverZikaChikungunyaRift Valley feverTularemiaMalariaFilariasis
Retinal scars and/or edemaXXXXXX
Eye pain/strainXXXXX
Blurred, decreased, or distorted visionXXXXX
Retinal and/or vitreous hemorrhagesXXXXX
Macular involvement (edema, scar, necrosis…)XXXXX
Cotton wool spotsXXXX
Optic neuritisXXXX
Cranial nerve palsiesXXXX
Optic disc edemaXXXX
(Sub)conjunctival hemorrhageXXX
Retinal detachmentXXX
Retinal vasculitisXXX
Corneal involvement
(edema, ulcers…)
Eyelid edemaXX
Conjunctival ulcers and/or chemosisXX
Red eyesXX
Pupillary defectsXX
White-centered and/or no white-centered hemorrhagesXX
Hard exudatesXX
Neurogenic ptosisXX
Permanent visual deficitXX
Foreign body sensationXX
Retinal whiteningXX
Intracranial pressureX
Absent corneal reflexX
Lens subluxationX
Iris colobomaX
Asymmetrical eye sizeX
Intraocular calcificationX
Optic nerve hypoplasiaX
Orbital hemorrhageX
Oculoglandular feverX
Associated bibiography[11]–[13][5], [14], [15][6], [16], [17][18]–[21][22]–[24][7][25]–[30][31], [32]
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Table 1: List of the different ocular symptoms which could affect human or animal according to the different mosquito-transmitted diseases (Inspired by the results from Karesh et al. 2018)

This article is the first providing the most complete list of the different known ocular symptoms which can be caused by different disease transmitted by mosquitoes.
The most common ocular symptoms of these diseases are the retinal scars and/or edema, the eye pain, the blurred or decreased or distorted vision, the uveitis and the retinal and/or vitreous hemorrhages, the macular involvement, conjunctivitis, floaters, cotton wool spots, chorioretinitis, vitritis, optic neuritis, cranial nerve palsies and the optic disc edema.

This list aims to familiarize health care providers which may not be familiar with this type of symptoms in the context of these vectorial diseases, in order to accelerate the diagnosis and increase the possibility to set up appropriate treatments.

Currently, it does not exist specific treatment to treat ocular symptoms caused by diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, except some ocular surgeries.

For the moment, the best protection against mosquito-borne diseases is the prevention via the elimination of sources of standing water along with the use of bed nets, vaccinations, insecticides, and mosquito-repellent clothing.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget: Fight Malaria


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[3] M. M. Miyagi I., Tomai T., “Biological control of container-breeding mosquitoes, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus, in a Japanese island by release of Toxorhynchites splendens adults,” in Medical and Veterinary Entomology 6, 1992, pp. 290–300.

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[18] A. Mohan, D. . Kiran, C. Manohar, and P. Kumar, “Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of chikungunya fever: Lessons learned from the re-emerging epidemic,” Indian J. Dermatol., vol. 55, no. 1, p. 54, 2010.

[19] P. Lalitha, S. Rathinam, K. Banushree, S. Maheshkumar, R. Vijayakumar, and P. Sathe, “Ocular Involvement Associated With an Epidemic Outbreak of Chikungunya Virus Infection,” Am. J. Ophthalmol., vol. 144, no. 4, pp. 552–556, Oct. 2007.

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[22] A. L. Siam, J. M. Meegan, and K. F. Gharbawi, “Rift Valley fever ocular manifestations: observations during the 1977 epidemic in Egypt.,” Br. J. Ophthalmol., vol. 64, no. 5, pp. 366–74, May 1980.

[23] A. Al-Hazmi et al., “Ocular complications of Rift Valley fever outbreak in Saudi Arabia,” Ophthalmology, vol. 112, no. 2, pp. 313–318, Feb. 2005.

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