The Mosquitoes and Mosquito-Borne Diseases on New Caledonia, an Historic Account: 1885–1946

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Of the three important mosquito-borne diseases occurring throughout the Pacific Ocean areas, dengue was of paramount importance on New Caledonia. The disease has been known since 1885 and the virus appears to have been introduced by surface vessels from endemic areas as Indo-China. Epidemics have been reported in the literature for several years following the initial outbreak in 1885.

The chief vector on the island is A. aegypti. With the institution of control measures in 1942 directed against the domesticated habits of this transmitting agent, the incidence of dengue dropped dramatically over a three-year period. By 1946, only an occasional case was reported in the civilian and military population of Noumea.

Malaria has been reported only as secondary cases in American combat troops undergoing “demalarialization” on New Caledonia and in the indentured Javanese and Tonkinese laborers employed in the nickel mines of the island. Primary infections in these patients were acquired in other endemic malarious areas.

Species of the genus Anopheles have not been discovered and the consensus of opinion among entomologists is that New Caledonia remained anopheline free up to the cessation of active military occupation in 1946.

W. bancrofti has been reported by blood film studies; C. quinquefasciatus is believed to be the most important vector.

Larval surveys revealed thirteen species of mosquitoes represented by the genera Aëdes, Culex, Mansonia, and Tripteroides.

Author Notes

Department Preventive Medicine, Naval Medical Field Research Laboratory, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.