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J Med Entomol. 2012 Jul;49(4):917-21.

Vertebrate hosts of Aedes aegypti and Aedes mediovittatus (Diptera: Culicidae) in rural Puerto Rico.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dengue Branch, Calle Canada, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00920. rbarrera@cdc.gov


The distribution of Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.), the main vector of dengue viruses (DENV) worldwide, overlaps with Aedes (Gymnometopa) mediovittatus (Coquillett), the Caribbean treehole mosquito, in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Ae. mediovittatus is a competent vector of DENV with high rates of vertical DENV transmission in the laboratory. This study determined whether Ae. mediovittatus feeds on humans and compared its feeding patterns with co-occurring Ae. aegypti in two rural communities of Puerto Rico. Adult mosquitoes were captured for three consecutive days every week from July 2009 to May 2010 using BG-Sentinel traps with skin lures that were placed in the front yard of houses in both communities. Three methods were used to identify the 756 bloodmeals obtained in this study: a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for humans and dogs targeting cytochrome b; a PCR targeting the 16S rRNA; and a nested PCR targeting cytochrome b. Ae. mediovittatus fed mostly on humans (45-52%) and dogs (28-32%) but also on cats, cows, horses, rats, pigs, goats, sheep, and chickens. Ae. aegypti fed mostly on humans (76-79%) and dogs (18-21%) but also on cats, horses, and chickens. Our results indicate that Ae. mediovittatus may have a relatively high rate of vector-human contact, which might facilitate virus transmission or harborage in rural areas of Puerto Rico.

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