Epidemiological and entomological surveillance of the co-circulation of DEN-1, DEN-2 and DEN-4 viruses in French Guiana
We surveyed the disease epidemiology of dengue in French Guiana after the first dengue haemorrhagic fever epidemic from 1991 to 1993 and during an endemic period from 1993 to 1995. DEN-1, DEN-2 and DEN-4 viruses were isolated from patients and DEN-4 was also isolated from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Cases of dengue were reported from all over the country, not only from urban areas, but also from rural areas and isolated human settlements, indicating widespread circulation of the viruses. The mosquito vector A. aegypti was found in all inhabited areas of French Guiana and small outdoor containers were the most common breeding grounds. Some ecological features of A. aegypti, such as larvae breeding in Bromeliad plants in the rainforest, a non-exclusive anthropophily and a high vertical transmission rate for dengue viruses, indicate that A. aegypti can behave as a reservoir for dengue viruses in silent areas. Dengue viruses may survive at an endemic level and cause outbreaks when unknown conditions become more favourable. This finding adds to our knowledge of the natural history of dengue viruses in the Americas.