Population structuring of the invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) on a microgeographic scale

Laura Cristina Multini, Ana Letícia da Silva de Souza, Mauro Toledo Marrelli, André Barretto Bruno Wilke

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14 Scopus citations


Aedes albopictus is an invasive mosquito species that has spread globally and can transmit several arboviruses, including dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The species was first reported in Brazil in 1986 and since then has been found in 24 of the 27 Brazilian states, often in peri-urban environments close to highly urbanized areas. To date, population genetics of this important mosquito in areas in the city of São Paulo has not been investigated. In this study, we used 12 microsatellite loci to investigate the microgeographic population genetics of Ae. albopictus, which is present throughout the city of São Paulo. All the analyses revealed structuring of the populations studied, divided into two groups with restricted gene flow between them and without evidence of isolation by distance. We propose two hypotheses to explain the results: (i) low dispersal capability—limited gene flow between populations is due to the low dispersal capability inherent to Ae. albopictus; and (ii) multiple introductions—the structure identified here results from multiple introductions, which led to different dispersal patterns within the city and more genetic heterogeneity. The ability of Ae. albopictus to invade new areas and expand may explain why these mosquito populations appear to be well established and thriving in the city of São Paulo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0220773
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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