It is important to obtain frequent measurements of the abundance, distribution, and seasonality of mosquito vectors to determine the risk of disease transmission. The number of cases of dengue infection has increased in recent years on Penang Island, Malaysia, with recurring epidemics. However, ongoing control attempts are being critically hampered by the lack of up-to-date information regarding the vectors. To overcome this problem, we examined the current situation and distribution of dengue vectors on the island. Residences throughout the urban, suburban, and rural areas were inspected through wet and dry seasons between February 2009 and February 2010. Two vectors were encountered in the survey, with Aedes aegypti present in especially high numbers mostly in urban areas. Similar observations were noted for Ae. albopictus in rural areas. The former species was more abundant in outdoor containers, while the latter showed almost equivalent abundance both outdoors and indoors. The dengue virus was active in both urban and rural areas, and the number of cases of infection was higher in areas where Ae. aegypti was predominant. The abundance of immature Ae. albopictus was positively correlated with rainfall (r2 = 0.461; P < 0.05), but this was not the case for Ae. aegypti. For both species, the size of immature populations tended to increase with increasing intensity of rain, but heavy rains resulted in population loss. In addition to updating data regarding the larval habitats and locations (outdoors and indoors), this study highlighted the importance of spatial vector control stratification, which has the potential to reduce costs in control programs.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.