Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, and Dengue virus in Harris county: An estimate of risk

J. Marie Bloemer, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Recent outbreaks of dengue fever (DF) along the United States/Mexico border, coupled with the high number of reported cases in Mexico suggest that there is the possibility for DF emergence in Houston, Texas1,2. To determine the presence of DF, populations of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus were identified and tested for dengue virus. Maps were created to identify "hot spots" (Figure 1) based on historical data on Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, demographic information, and locations of human cases of dengue fever. BG Sentinel Traps®, in conjunction with BG Lure® attractant, octanol and dry ice, were used to collect mosquitoes, which were then tested for presence of dengue virus using ELISA techniques. All samples tested were negative for dengue virus (DV). Survival of DV ultimately comes down to whether or not it will be vectored by a mosquito to a susceptible human host. The presence of infected humans and contact with the mosquito vectors are two critical factors necessary in the establishment of DF. Historical records indicate the presence of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in Harris County, which would support localized dengue transmission if infected individuals are present. (1) Brunkard JM, Robles-Lopez JL, Ramirez J, Cifuentes E, Rothenberg SJ, Hunsperger EA, Moore CG, Brussolo RM, Villarreal NA, Haddad BM, 2007. Dengue fever seroprevalence and risk factors, Texas-Mexico border, 2004. Emerg Infect Dis 13: 1477-1483. (2) Ramos MM, Mohammed H, Zielinski-Gutierrez E, Hayden MH, Lopez JL, Fournier M, Trujillo AR, Burton R, Brunkard JM, Anaya-Lopez L, Banicki AA, Morales PK, Smith B, Munoz JL, Waterman SH, 2008. Epidemic dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever at the Texas-Mexico Border: results of a household-based seroepidemiologic survey, December 2005. Am J Trop Med Hyg 78: 364-369.

Subject Area

Organismal biology|Public health

Recommended Citation

Bloemer, J. Marie, "Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, and Dengue virus in Harris county: An estimate of risk" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1467337.