The Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus Mosquitoes

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Mosquito-Borne Viral Diseases. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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The Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus Mosquitoes

The most common mosquito transmitting viral diseases is Aedes aegypti. It transmits dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika. It is believed that Ae. aegypti was transported from Africa to other parts of the world. It has a high vectorial capacity, meaning it is a very effective transmitter of these viruses in nature.
Aedes albopictus is capable of spreading all four of the above-listed diseases, as well as the West Nile virus. Ae. albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, originated in Asia and can live in more temperate (cooler) climates. While Ae. aegypti lives in close proximity to people and their homes, Ae. albopictus is less likely to live as close or spread disease. Both of these are more likely to be active and bite in the daytime in full sunlight, unlike most mosquitoes. They were probably imported in used tires.
Both mosquitoes can live in the US. The map below shows the best estimate (as of September 2017) of the CDC for the potential ranges of these mosquitoes.3 The mosquitoes use natural and artificial containers that hold water, such as used tires, plastic buckets, ponds, and tree holes. They thrive in small containers of water. Control of these diseases is dependent on killing these mosquitoes and preventing them from breeding.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). February 16, 2018. ESTIMATED potential range of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the United States, 2017. Accessed October 20, 2022.
4. CDC. Image #9261. This 2006 photograph depicted a female, Aedes aegypti mosquito, from a left lateral perspective, while she was in the process of acquiring a blood meal from her human host. PHIL public domain. Created 2006. Accessed October 25, 2022.
5. CDC. Image #4489. This photograph depicts a female Aedes albopictus mosquito as she was feeding on a human host. PHIL public domain. Created 2003. Accessed October 25, 2022.

4. Aedes aegypti mosquito.
5. Aedes albopictus mosquito.