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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2010 Apr;10(3):241-7. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2009.0035.

Larval environmental temperature and the susceptibility of Aedes albopictus Skuse (Diptera: Culicidae) to Chikungunya virus.

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Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Department of Entomology and Nematology, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Vero Beach, Florida 32962, USA.


A key feature in the recent widespread epidemic of the mosquito-borne alphavirus chikungunya virus (CHIKV) was the important role of Aedes albopictus, formerly regarded as a secondary vector, compared to the presumed primary vector Aedes aegypti. Ae. albopictus, a container-inhabiting mosquito, is an invasive species that occurs over a wide geographic range spanning tropical and temperate latitudes. In this study we examine the effects of a broad range of larval rearing temperatures on CHIKV infection, dissemination, and viral titer in Florida F(1) Ae. albopictus. Adults from larvae reared at 18 degrees C, 24 degrees C, and 32 degrees C differed significantly in size, development time, and CHIKV infection rate. Adult females with the largest body size were produced from the coolest temperature, took the longest to mature, and six times more likely to be infected with CHIKV than females reared at 32 degrees C. There was also a significant effect of rearing temperature on viral dissemination, resulting in an increase in population dissemination at the coolest temperature. This study indicates that climate factors, such as temperature, experienced at the larval stage, can influence the competence of adult females to vector arboviruses.

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