In 2009–2011, Monroe County in southern Florida experienced locally acquired and traveler-imported focal dengue outbreaks. Aedes aegypti (L.) is the primary vector of dengue virus (DENV) worldwide, is prevalent in Monroe County, and is the suspected vector in Florida. Ae. albopictus (Skuse) is also known to be an important vector of DENV and this species is ubiquitous in Florida; however, it is not yet established in Monroe County. Florida Ae. aegypti (Key West and Stock Island geographic colonies) and Ae. albopictus (Vero Beach geographic colony) were fed blood containing 3.7 Log10 plaque-forming unit equivalents of DENV serotype 1 isolated from a patient involved in the Key West, FL, outbreak in 2010. Mosquitoes were maintained at extrinsic incubation temperatures of 28 or 30°C for an incubation period of 14 d. Vector competence was assessed using rates of infection (percent with virus-positive bodies), dissemination (percent infected with viruspositive legs), and transmission (percent infected with virus-positive saliva). No significant differences were observed in rates of infection or dissemination between Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus at either extrinsic incubation temperature. Transmission was observed only at 28°C in both Ae. aegypti (Key West) and Ae. albopictus. The assessment of local mosquito populations for their DENV vector competence is essential and will aid mosquito control operators interested in pinpointing specific vector populations for control. The extent to which vector competence is affected by seasonal changes in temperature is discussed and provides baseline risk assessment data to mosquito control agencies.
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Vol. 49 • No. 4