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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2008 Spring;8(1):25-34. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2007.0649.

Geographic distribution and developmental sites of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) during a Chikungunya epidemic event.

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Research Unit #016, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), 7 chemin de l'IRAT, 97410 Saint Pierre, La Réunion, France.


Aedes albopictus is generally considered to have a low vectorial capacity because of its lack of host specificity. Nevertheless, it has been the sole vector of the Chikungunya virus in recent explosive epidemics on the islands of La Réunion and Mauritius. We report on investigations of the seasonal prevalence, container preferences, and geographic distribution of the species on La Réunion. Ae. albopictus showed strong ecological plasticity. In the warm wet season, small disposable containers were the principal urban breeding site, with 1939 positive containers in 750 houses. In the dry winter season, the species remained abundant throughout the island up to 800 m and was present to a maximum altitude of 1200 m. Natural containers were clearly important in this season, although productive sources were hard to find. The preferred natural developmental sites were bamboo stumps and rock holes, over 357 developmental sites observed in peri-urban and gully areas. Generalized logistic models indicated that the optimum sites contained clear water with high organic content and were situated in sites with moderate shade. Our data will provide input into the models of the epidemiology of the disease and design of vector control programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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