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Free Content Dengue vector prevalence and virus infection in a rural area in south India

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We conducted a 2-year (1997–1999) longitudinal, entomological and virological study in three dengue endemic villages in Vellore district, Tamil Nadu, to understand the dynamics of dengue transmission. Aedes aegypti (Linn.), Ae. albopictus (Skuse) and Ae. vittatus (Bigot) were the prevalent vector species. Aedes aegypti was breeding throughout the year with a Breteau index ranging from 9.05 to 45.49. Aedes albopictus and Ae. vittatus were prevalent mainly in the rainy season. Small water holding containers (cemented tanks/cisterns) were the perennial breeding source of Ae. aegypti, and its abundance was significantly higher in semi-urbanized central areas than the peripheral areas of the villages. From 271 pools (4016 specimens) of adult females, eight dengue virus (DENV) isolates were obtained of which seven were from Ae. aegypti and one from Ae. albopictus. This is the first report of DENV isolation from Ae. albopictus in rural India. Infection rates in the two species were comparable. However, due to higher and perennial prevalence, Ae. aegypti is considered as primary vector with Ae. albopictus playing a secondary role. Despite circulation of all four serotypes (DENV 1–4) detected mainly during the transmission season, the high anthropophilic index of the vectors and their abundance, no human dengue case was reported, suggesting silent dengue transmission.
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Keywords: Aedes aegypti; Aedes albopictus; Breteau index; dengue virus isolation; silent dengue transmission; vector infection

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Centre for Research in Medical Entomology, Indian Council of Medical Research, Madurai, India 2:  Department of Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL, USA 3:  Retired Officer of Centre for Research in Medical Entomology, Madurai, India

Publication date: 01 April 2004

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