Assessing the potential distributions of the invasive mosquito vector Aedes albopictus and its natural Wolbachia infections in México.
The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is currently the most invasive vector species, with a widespread global distribution. Aedes albopictus is the potential vector of diverse arboviruses, including Zika and dengue. This study updated the ecological niche model of Ae. albopictus and inferred the potential distribution of natural Wolbachia infections in Ae. albopictus in México. The ecological niche models were constructed based on diverse model settings to better estimate the potential distributions and uncertainty indices of both Ae. albopictus and its natural Wolbachia infections in México. The distribution of Ae. albopictus covered the states across Northern México, the Gulf of México, the Pacific Coast of México, Central México, and the southeast of México. The ecological niche model of the natural Wolbachia infections in Ae. albopictus populations anticipated the occurrence of natural Wolbachia infections in the southeast of México, the Chiapas border with Guatemala, and Veracruz. These results can be used to prioritize vector surveillance and control programs in México for strategic and future decision-making; however, it is still necessary to establish active surveillance programs to assess model predictions based on the independent sampling of Ae. albopictus from different invasion zones in México. Finally, vector surveillance should also screen the natural Wolbachia infections in Ae. albopictus to validate Wolbachia predictions across México, particularly in the southeast of México.