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High Rate of Non-Human Feeding by Aedes aegypti Reduces Zika Virus Transmission in South Texas

Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Biosciences and Biotechnology Division, Chemistry, Materials and Life Sciences Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro de Biotecnología Genómica, Cd. Reynosa 88710, Tamaulipas, Mexico
Secretary of Health of the State of Tamaulipas, Epidemiology Directorate, Cd. Victoria 87000, Tamaulipas, Mexico
Health Department, City of Harlingen, TX 78550, USA
Hidalgo County Health & Human Services, Edinburg, TX 78539, USA
Instituto Costarricense de Investigación y Enseñanza en Nutrición y Salud (INCIENSA), Apartado Postal, Tres Ríos, Cartago 4-2250, Costa Rica
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 453;
Received: 23 March 2020 / Revised: 13 April 2020 / Accepted: 14 April 2020 / Published: 17 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Viruses)
Mosquito-borne viruses are emerging or re-emerging globally, afflicting millions of people around the world. Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, is the principal vector of dengue, Zika, and chikungunya viruses, and has well-established populations across tropical and subtropical urban areas of the Americas, including the southern United States. While intense arboviral epidemics have occurred in Mexico and further south in the Americas, local transmission in the United States has been minimal. Here, we study Ae. aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus host feeding patterns and vertebrate host communities in residential environments of South Texas to identify host-utilization relative to availability. Only 31% of Ae. aegypti blood meals were derived from humans, while 50% were from dogs and 19% from other wild and domestic animals. In Cx. quinquefasciatus, 67% of blood meals were derived from chicken, 22% came from dogs, 9% from various wild avian species, and 2% from other mammals including one human, one cat, and one pig. We developed a model for the reproductive number, R0, for Zika virus (ZIKV) in South Texas relative to northern Mexico using human disease data from Tamaulipas, Mexico. We show that ZIKV R0 in South Texas communities could be greater than one if the risk of human exposure to Ae. aegypti bites in these communities is at least 60% that of Northern Mexico communities. The high utilization of non-human vertebrates and low risk of human exposure in South Texas diminishes the outbreak potential for human-amplified urban arboviruses transmitted by Ae. aegypti. View Full-Text
Keywords: Zika virus; Aedes aegypti; Culex quinquefasciatus; host selection; reproductive number Zika virus; Aedes aegypti; Culex quinquefasciatus; host selection; reproductive number
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Olson, M.F.; Ndeffo-Mbah, M.L.; Juarez, J.G.; Garcia-Luna, S.; Martin, E.; Borucki, M.K.; Frank, M.; Estrada-Franco, J.G.; Rodríguez-Pérez, M.A.; Fernández-Santos, N.A.; Molina-Gamboa, G.J.; Carmona Aguirre, S.D.; Reyes-Berrones, B.L.; Cortés-De la cruz, L.J.; García-Barrientos, A.; Huidobro-Guevara, R.E.; Brussolo-Ceballos, R.M.; Ramirez, J.; Salazar, A.; Chaves, L.F.; Badillo-Vargas, I.E.; Hamer, G.L. High Rate of Non-Human Feeding by Aedes aegypti Reduces Zika Virus Transmission in South Texas. Viruses 2020, 12, 453.

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