Dengue Vector Distribution And Abundance In Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas Usa
  Key Words  
  Dengue virus, Aedes albopictus, Aedes aegypti.
  Samantha Champion And Christopher Vitek
  Dengue virus has been classified as a worldwide emerging disease. South Texas is potentially at risk for dengue virus introduction due to proximity to Mexico, a country with endemic dengue transmission. Previous research has identified two dengue vectors, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the region. Both species share similar habitats and often compete as larvae. Understanding the distribution and relative abundance of these species will aid in the process of determining risk for dengue virus transmission. We examined the relative abundance of these two species in a six sites extending from the Gulf of Mexico inland approximately 60 miles. Three different habitats were surveyed at each field site: a tire store, a cemetery, and a residential location. Mosquitos eggs were collected weekly using oviposition traps. Temperature and humidity were recorded during each collection. We predicted we would find a greater abundance of A. aegypti further away from the shoreline where the humidity was lower. We also predicted we would find greater abundance of A. aegypti in tire shops, where there is little cover. Preliminary analysis indicates A. albopictus were more common in cemeteries, while A. aegypti were more common in tire shops. Both appeared to be equally abundant in residential area. There is no correlation between species abundance and distance from the Gulf of Mexico. These data provide insight into the potential for dengue virus introduction and transmission in the region.