Under-the-Radar Dengue Virus Infections in Natural Populations of Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes.


Since 1999, dengue outbreaks in the continental United States involving local transmission have occurred only episodically and only in Florida and Texas. In Florida, these episodes appear to be coincident with increased introductions of dengue virus into the region through human travel and migration from countries where the disease is endemic. To date, the U.S. public health response to dengue outbreaks has been largely reactive, and implementation of comprehensive arbovirus surveillance in advance of predictable transmission seasons, which would enable proactive preventative efforts, remains unsupported. The significance of our finding is that it is the first documented report of DENV4 transmission to and maintenance within a local mosquito vector population in the continental United States in the absence of a human case during two consecutive years. Our data suggest that molecular surveillance of mosquito populations in high-risk, high-tourism areas of the United States may enable proactive, targeted vector control before potential arbovirus outbreaks.

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