To determine their relative roles in transmission of dengue virus (DENV) in the Torres Strait region of northern Australia, we examined infection and dissemination of a sympatric strain of dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2) in Aedes scutellaris, Ae. albopictus, and Ae. aegypti. In experiments using membrane feeders for virus exposure, infection rates were 83% and 43% for Ae. scutellaris and Ae. aegypti, respectively. Salivary gland infection rates for both species were 43%. In experiments using pledgets for virus exposure, infection rates for Ae. aegypti, Ae. scutellaris, and Ae. albopictus were 68%, 55%, and 37%, respectively. Aedes albopictus exhibited the greatest barriers to infection with only 7% tested developing a salivary gland infection, compared to 42% and 24% of Ae. aegypti and Ae. scutellaris, respectively. These results suggest that Ae. scutellaris may have been responsible for DENV transmission on Torres Strait islands, where Ae. aegypti does not occur. In contrast, Ae. albopictus may not be an important vector of DENV-2 from the Torres Strait.
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Vol. 23 • No. 4