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Aedes aegypti from temperate regions of South America are highly competent to transmit dengue virus

Ricardo Lourenço-de-Oliveira12*, Anubis Vega Rua2, Darío Vezzani3, Gabriela Willat4, Marie Vazeille2, Laurence Mousson2 and Anna Bella Failloux2

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratório de Transmissores de Hematozoários, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Av. Brasil 4365, Rio de Janeiro 21045-900, Brazil

2 Department of Virology, Arboviruses and Insect Vectors, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

3 CONICET Instituto de Ecología, Genética y Evolución de Buenos Aires, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

4 Unidad de Zoonosis y Vectores, Dirección General de la Salud, Ministerio de Salud Pública, Montevideo, Uruguay

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:610  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-610

Published: 28 December 2013



Aedes aegypti is extensively spread throughout South America where it has been responsible for large dengue epidemics during the last decades. Intriguingly, dengue transmission has not been reported in Uruguay and is essentially prevalent in subtropical northern Argentina which borders Uruguay.


We assessed vector competence for dengue virus (DENV) of Ae. aegypti populations collected in subtropical Argentina (Corrientes) as well as temperate Uruguay (Salto) and Argentina (Buenos Aires) in 2012 using experimental oral infections with DENV-2. Mosquitoes were incubated at 28°C and examined at 14 and 21 days p.i. to access viral dissemination and transmission. Batches of the Buenos Aires mosquitoes were also incubated at 15°C and 20°C.


Although mosquitoes from temperate Uruguay and Argentina were competent to transmit DENV, those from subtropical Argentina were more susceptible, displaying the highest virus titters in the head and presenting the highest dissemination of infection and transmission efficiency rates when incubated at 28°C. Interestingly, infectious viral particles could be detected in saliva of mosquitoes from Buenos Aires exposed to 15°C and 20°C.


There is a potential risk of establishing DENV transmission in Uruguay and for the spread of dengue outbreaks to other parts of subtropical and temperate Argentina, notably during spring and summer periods.

Vector competence; Experimental infections; Argentina; Uruguay; Dengue