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Print version ISSN 0120-4157


REY, Jorge R.  and  LOUNIBOS, Philip. Ecology of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the Americas and disease transmission. Biomédica [online]. 2015, vol.35, n.2, pp.177-185. ISSN 0120-4157.

The recent range expansion of the mosquito Aedes albopictus has been associated in some areas by declines in abundance or local elimination of Aedes aegypti, but the two species still coexist in large regions of the Americas. We offer a summary of the possible mechanisms responsible for the abundance and displacement pattern observed and of their significance in terms of disease transmission. Among these mechanisms we may mention the competition for limiting resources, the differences in the ability to withstand starvation, the apparent competition through differential effects of the parasite Ascogregarina taiwanensis, and the inhibition of Ae. aegypti egg development by Ae. albopictus larvae. Habitat segregation has been proposed as a mechanism promoting the coexistence of the two species through avoidance of direct competition. Aedes aegypti predominates in urban areas, Ae. albopictus in rural ones, and both species coexist in the suburbs. There is also evidence that in certain areas, habitat segregation in terms of distance from the coast can influence the distribution of both species. Another possible cause of the rapid disappearance of Ae. aegypti is reproductive interference between the species. According to this hypothesis, asymmetric effects of interspecific mating favor Ae. albopictus. This type of reproductive interference can result in the elimination of sympatric populations of the affected species and can be one of the major causes for the swiftness with which Ae. aegypti disappeared from some places in the Americas following invasions by Ae. albopictus.

Keywords : Aedes; arboviruses; chikungunya virus; dengue; habitat.

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