Although Aedes fluviatilis is an anthropophilic mosquito found abundantly in urban environments, its biology, epidemiological potential and genetic characteristics are poorly understood. Climate change and urbanization processes that result in environmental modifications benefit certain anthropophilic mosquito species such as Ae. fluviatilis, greatly increasing their abundance in urban areas. To gain a better understanding of whether urbanization processes modulate the genetic structure of this species in the city of São Paulo, we used eight microsatellite loci to genetically characterize Ae. fluviatilis populations collected in nine urban parks in the city of São Paulo. Our results show that there is high gene flow among the populations of this species, heterozygosity deficiency and low genetic structure and that the species may have undergone a recent population expansion. There are two main hypotheses to explain these findings: (i) Ae. fluviatilis populations have undergone a population expansion as a result of urbanization; and (ii) as urbanization of the city of São Paulo occurred recently and was quite intense, the structuring of these populations cannot be observed yet, apart from in the populations of Ibirapuera and Piqueri parks, where the first signs of structuring have appeared. We believe that the expansion found in Ae. fluviatilis populations is probably correlated with the unplanned urbanization of the city of São Paulo, which transformed green areas into urbanized areas, as well as the increasing population density in the city.
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