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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UMiami: Miami-Dade County is a Receptive Gateway for Arbovirus Entry to the United States, Researchers Find

According to a study published in Nature Scientific Reports, the community composition and year-round abundance of vector species of mosquitoes in Miami-Dade make the county one of the most vulnerable for arbovirus transmission, which are viruses that can be transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, or arthropods. The study was co-authored by researchers at the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences and Miami-Dade County’s Mosquito Control Division.

Using two-year’s worth of mosquito surveillance data gathered after the 2016 Zika virus outbreak, researchers found that there are five dominant mosquito species in the county. They are the Culex nigripalpus, Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti, Aedes taeniorhynchus and Anopheles crucians. These species are potential vectors for the transmission of the West Nile virus, chikungunya, dengue, and yellow fevers, which are various types of arboviruses. The Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus were present in high numbers year-round, indicating that there is no longer a summer ‘mosquito season’ in Miami.

The study shows that while Miami-Dade is vulnerable to arboviruses, establishing more surveillance systems help guide and improve mosquito control operations in the county, reducing the risk of vector-borne diseases (VBD) transmission to humans.

“The intensification of county-wide mosquito surveillance, following the Zika virus outbreak in 2016, is helping the Miami-Dade Mosquito Control Division strategically target and control vector mosquitoes, protecting the residents of the county,” said Dr. John Beier, co-author of the study and professor of public health sciences at the Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences.

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