Origin of a High-Latitude Population of Aedes aegypti in Washington, DC

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2018 Feb;98(2):445-452. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.17-0676. Epub 2017 Dec 14.


An overwintering population of Aedes aegypti has been documented in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC, since 2011. Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI) sequence data presented in a previous study traced the origin to the New World. Here, we use microsatellite and 14,071 single nucleotide polymorphisms along with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences on Washington Ae. aegypti samples and samples from potential sources to further narrow the origin of this population. Genetically, Washington Ae. aegypti are closest to populations in Florida, meaning this is the most likely source. Florida experienced the first mosquito-borne transmission of dengue in the United States after decades of absence of this disease, as well as local transmission of chikungunya and Zika in recent years. This suggests that the Capitol Hill, Washington, DC population of Ae. aegypti is capable of transmitting viruses such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika in modern US city environments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / genetics*
  • Aedes / virology
  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • District of Columbia
  • Genetic Background*
  • Genotype
  • Geographic Mapping*
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics
  • Mosquito Vectors / virology