Aedes aegypti in Tahiti and Moorea (French Polynesia): isoenzyme differentiation in the mosquito population according to human population density.

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  • 1 Unité d'Ecologie des Systèmes Vectoriels, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.

Genetic differences at five polymorphic isoenzyme loci were analyzed by starch gel electrophoresis for 28 Aedes aegypti samples. Considerable (i.e., high Fst values) and significant (i.e., P values >10(-4)) geographic differences were found. Differences in Ae. aegypti genetic structure were related to human population densities and to particularities in mosquito ecotopes in both Tahiti and Moorea islands. In highly urbanized areas (i.e., the Papeete agglomeration), mosquitoes were highly structured. Recurrent extinction events consecutive to insecticidal treatments during dengue outbreaks tend to differentiate mosquito populations. In less populated zones (i.e., the east coast of Moorea and Tahiti), differences in ecotope characteristics could explain the lack of differentiation among mosquitoes from rural environments such as the east coast of Tahiti where natural breeding sites predominate. When the lowest populated zones such as Tahiti Iti and the west coast of Moorea are compared, mosquito are less differentiated in Moorea. These results will be discussed in relation to the recent findings of variation in mosquito infection rates for dengue-2 virus.