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How the dengue virus makes a home in the city

The mosquitoes that spread dengue fever tap into the domestic networks of humans, along with their bloodstreams, finds a study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Mosquitoe

Like the housefly, the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads the dengue virus is a homebody, perfectly adapted to the domestic life of humans.

The data from Iquitos, Peru, shows that the trail of the most rapid transmission of human infections does not lead through large, public gathering places, as might be expected, but from house-to-house, as people visit nearby friends and relatives.

"It's common in a dengue fever outbreak to first treat public places like schools for mosquitoes, but our results show the focus needs to be on residential networks," says disease ecologist Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec.

Vazquez-Prokopec and Uriel Kitron, both from Emory University's department of environmental studies, conducted the spatial-temporal analysis as co-authors of the study, led by Steve Stoddard and Thomas Scott from the University of California, Davis. The research is part of a major, ongoing dengue project that also includes scientists from the U.S. Navy; the University of Iowa; Tulane University; San Diego State; and researchers in Peru.
 
 

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