Vector competence persistance of Venezuelan Aedes albopictus for an Asian dengue-2 strain.
In Venezuela, there are populations of Aedes aegypti (Ae. aegypti) with different geographic origins and genetic structure that differ in vector competence for dengue virus. Since recently, the presence of Aedes albopictus (Ae. albopictus) was reported, it is also important to know the vector competence of this species to predict the epidemiological risk which would bring its spread. The objective was to determine the vector competence persistance of Ae. albopictus from Maracay, Venezuela for an Asian dengue-2 strain. The two species of mosquitoes were fed with a blood-dengue 2 virus suspension and after 20 days post-exposure to virus, the presence of the virus was determined by the polymerase chain reaction assay in different parts of the insect: abdomen (infection), legs/wings (spread) and head (transmission). The results show that the strain Ae. aegypti is more susceptible to infection in the abdomen (60%) that the strain of Ae. albopictus (37.5%); however, only in Ae. albopictus this virus was found in the legs/wings (100%) and heads (33%). The studied strain of Ae. albopictus may be more competent vector in the transmission of the dengue 2 virus than Ae. aegypti. This finding is of great epidemiological importance as this shows that even this mosquito not being in its continent of origin, it can still be an efficient vector and eventually become adapted to the native viral strains.