Aedes aegypti (L.) is the primary vector of dengue virus in the Philippines, where dengue is endemic. We examined the genetic changes of Ae. aegypti collected from three selected sites in Cebu city, Philippines, during the relatively wet (2011–2012) and dry seasons (2012 and 2013). A total of 493 Ae. aegypti adults, reared in the laboratory from field-collected larvae, were analyzed using 11 microsatellite loci. Seasonal variation was observed in allele frequencies and allelic richness. Average genetic differentiation (DEST = 0.018; FST = 0.029) in both dry seasons was higher, due to reduced Ne, than in the wet season (DEST = 0.006; FST = 0.009). Thus, average gene flow was higher in the wet season than in the dry seasons. However, the overall FST estimate (0.02) inclusive of the two seasons showed little genetic differentiation as supported by Bayesian clustering analysis. Results suggest that during the dry season the intense selection that causes a dramatic reduction of population size favors heterozygotes, leading to small pockets of mosquitoes (refuges) that exhibit random genetic differentiation. During the wet season, the genetic composition of the population is reconstituted by the expansion of the refuges that survived the preceding dry season. Source reduction of mosquitoes during the nonepidemic dry season is thus recommended to prevent dengue re-emergence in the subsequent wet season.
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Vol. 52 • No. 4