Surveillance of Aedes aegypti indoors and outdoors using Autocidal Gravid Ovitraps in South Texas during local transmission of Zika virus, 2016 to 2018.
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The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, has facilitated the re-emergence of dengue virus (DENV) and emergence of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Americas and the Caribbean. The recent transmission of these arboviruses in the continental United States has been limited, to date, to South Florida and South Texas despite Ae. aegypti occurring over a much larger geographical region within the country. The main goal of our study was to provide the first long term longitudinal study of Ae. aegypti and enhance the knowledge about the indoor and outdoor relative abundance of Ae. aegypti as a proxy for mosquito-human contact in South Texas, a region of the United States that is at high risk for mosquito-borne virus transmission. Here, the relative abundance of indoors and outdoors mosquitoes of households in eight different communities was described. Surveillance was done weekly from September 2016 to April 2018 using the CDC Autocidal Gravid Ovitraps in low- and middle-income communities. A total of 69 houses were included in this survey among which 36 were in the low-income communities (n=11 for Donna, n=15 for Progresso, n=5 for Mesquite, n=5 for Chapa) and 33 in middle-income communities (n=9 for La Feria, n=8 for Weslaco, n=11 for McAllen, and n=5 for Rio Rico). Overall, Ae. aegypti was the dominant species (59.2% of collections, n=7255) followed by Culex spp. mosquitoes (27.3% of collections, n=3350). Furthermore, we demonstrated for Ae. aegypti that 1) outdoor relative abundance was higher compared to indoor relative abundance, 2) low-income communities were associated with an increase in mosquito relative abundance indoors when compared to middle-income communities, 3) no difference was observed in the number of mosquitoes collected outdoors between low-income and middle-income communities, and 4) warmer months were positively correlated with outdoor relative abundance whereas no seasonality was observed in the relative abundance of mosquitoes indoors. Additionally, Ae. aegypti mosquitoes collected in South Texas were tested using a specific ZIKV/CHIKV multiplex real-time PCR assay, however, none of the mosquitoes tested positive. Our data highlights the occurrence of mosquitoes indoors in the continental United States and that adults are collected nearly every week of the calendar year. These mosquito data, obtained concurrently with local ZIKV transmission of 10 locally acquired cases in nearby communities, represent a baseline for future studies in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) including vector control interventions relying on the oviposition behavior to reduce mosquito populations and pathogen transmission.