Higher West Nile Virus Infection in Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) and Culex (Diptera: Culicidae) Mosquitoes From Lower Income Neighborhoods in Urban Baltimore, MD.
The temperate United States has experienced increasing incidence of mosquito-borne diseases. Recent studies conducted in Baltimore, MD have demonstrated a negative relationship between abundances of Aedes albopictus (Skuse) and Culex mosquitoes and mean neighborhood income level, but have not looked at the presence of pathogens. Mosquitoes collected from five socioeconomically variable neighborhoods were tested for infection by West Nile, chikungunya, and Zika viruses in 2015 and 2016, and again from four of the neighborhoods in 2017. Minimum infection rates of pooled samples were compared among neighborhoods for each year, as well as among individual blocks in 2017. West Nile virus was detected in both Ae. albopictus and Culex pools from all neighborhoods sampled in 2015 and 2017. No infected pools were detected in any year for chikungunya or Zika viruses, and none of the target viruses were detected in 2016. Infection rates were consistently higher for Culex than for Ae. albopictus. Minimum infection rate was negatively associated with mean neighborhood income for both species in 2015. Although earlier work has shown a positive association between block-level abandonment and mosquito abundance, no association was detected in this study. Still, we demonstrate that viral infection in mosquito pools can differ substantially across adjacent urban neighborhoods that vary by income. Though trap security and accessibility often inform city sampling locations, detecting and managing arboviral risk requires surveillance across neighborhoods that vary in socioeconomics, including lower income areas that may be less accessible and secure but have higher infection rates.© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.