Locally acquired dengue cases in the continental U.S. are rare. However, outbreaks of dengue-1 during 2009, 2010, and 2013 in Florida and dengue-1 and -2 in Texas suggest vulnerability to transmission. Travel and commerce between Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland is common, which may pose a risk for traveler-imported dengue cases. Mosquitoes were collected in Florida and used to evaluate their susceptibility to dengue viruses (DENV) from Puerto Rico. Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus were susceptible to virus infection with DENV-1 and -2. No significant differences were observed in rates of midgut infection or dissemination between Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus for DENV-1 (6–14%). Aedes aegypti was significantly more susceptible to midgut infection with DENV-2 than Ae. albopictus (Ae. aegypti, ∼28%; Ae. albopictus, ∼9%). The dissemination rate with dengue-2 virus for Ae. aegypti (23%) was greater than Ae. albopictus (0%), suggesting that Ae. albopictus is not likely to be an important transmitter of the DENV-2 isolate from Puerto Rico. These results are discussed in light of Florida's vulnerability to DENV transmission.
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Vol. 39 • No. 2