Invasion of tropical montane cities by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) depends on continuous warm winters and suitable urban biotopes.
We provide the first evidence of a recent invasion of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus in Hasselquist, 1762) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse 1894), followed by dengue virus, in tropical montane cities in south-eastern Brazil, Mariana, and Ouro Preto, at mid and high altitudes, respectively. Long-term temperature variation, dengue public data, and sampling of immature and adult mosquitoes (ovitraps and mosquitraps) in contrasting habitats were used to explain the distribution of Aedes in what in these two cities. From 1961 to 2014, the annual temperature increased significantly due to increases in winter temperatures. In the 1990s/2000s, the winter temperature was 1.3°C warmer than in the 1960s, when it varied from 21.2 to 18.9°C. After 2007, the winter temperatures increased and ranged from 21.6 to 21.3°C. The first autochthonous dengue cases in Mariana and Ouro Preto were in 2007, followed by few occurrences until in 2012, when the mean numbers increased three-fold, and peak at 2013. The continuous 'warmer winter' may have trigged the Aedes invasion. Aedes species benefited from higher winter temperatures, which was an important driver of their invasion of the state of Minas Gerais in the 1980s and, more recently, in the remaining montane urban habitats in this region. In both 2009 and 2011, we found more Aedes in Mariana than Ouro Preto, and more Ae. albopictus in green areas and Ae. aegypti in houses, the expected pattern for well-established populations.