We estimated two of the most influential entomological variables related to cumulative vectorial capacity, which is a modification of the traditional vectorial capacity equation, of three Colombian mosquito populations. Laboratory studies were undertaken to measure vector competence and man biting rate of local mosquito populations. In addition, the assessment of cumulative vectorial capacity also incorporated site-specific estimations of mosquito density and the probability of daily survival from previous studies conducted in those cities.
We aimed to determine the utility of vectorial capacity to explain the observed dengue infection rates in three hyperendemic cities in Colombia, and tested hypotheses related to three variables: mosquito density, effective vector competence, and biting rate.
Specific mosquito-biting rate is likely sufficient to explain transmission differences in these three cities, confirming that this parameter is a critical parameter when predicting and assessing dengue transmission in three Colombian cities with different field observed transmission patterns.
Measuring dengue virus transmission in endemic areas is a difficult task as many variables drive transmission, and often are not independent of one another.
We found that the biting rates and mosquito infection rates differed among populations of mosquitoes from these three cities, resulting in differences in the site-specific measures of transmission potential. Specifically, we found that using site-specific entomological measures to populate the cumulative vectorial capacity equation was best at recapitulating observed mosquito infection rates when mosquito density was discounted compared to when we incorporated site-specific density measures.