PerspectiveEpidemiology

Mosquitoes on the move

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Science  25 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6315, pp. 971-972
DOI: 10.1126/science.aal1717

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Summary

The mosquito Aedes aegypti rose to global attention around 1900 when it was shown to be the vector of yellow fever, a viral disease that was ravaging the New World. After World War II, a partly successful program was mounted to eliminate this invader from the New World through the use of DDT. By the late 1960s, however, the urgency for eliminating Ae. aegypti receded after the widespread use of an effective yellow fever vaccine. Eradication efforts were suspended, and the mosquito reestablished itself in its previous, or even a greater, range. The mosquito continues to be a substantial public health threat that requires urgent attention, particularly given recent evidence for hybridization of previously distinct subtypes.