Aedes Aegypti in Puerto Rico: Environmental Determinants of Larval Abundance and Relation to Dengue Virus Transmission

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  • San Juan Laboratories, Bureau of Laboratories, Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Vector Control Program, Puerto Rico Health Department, San Juan, Puerto Rico

In order to understand adequately the dynamics of vector-borne disease, one must understand how and why vector populations change over time. We describe a long-term, cooperative study of seasonal fluctuation in populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in Puerto Rico. During each month of the first 3 years of the project, A. aegypti was found breeding in all five communities studied. Mosquito density was positively correlated with rainfall, the relationship being more marked in the dry, south-coastal part of the island. Discarded tires and animal watering pans were the two most common larval breeding sites. In general, houses in Puerto Rico harbor more potential A. aegypti breeding sites than those in other tropical locations, probably because Puerto Rico is relatively more affluent.

Author Notes

Present address: Department of Tropical Medicine, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112.

Present address: U.S. Public Health Service Hospital, San Francisco, California 94118.

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