Dengue fever is an emerging infectious disease in the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador, with the first cases reported in 2002 and subsequent periodic outbreaks. We report results of a 2014 pilot study conducted in Puerto Ayora (PA) on Santa Cruz Island, and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (PB) on San Cristobal Island. To assess the socio-ecological risk factors associated with dengue and mosquito vector presence at the household level, we conducted 100 household surveys (50 on each island) in neighborhoods with prior reported dengue cases. Adult mosquitoes were collected inside and outside the home, larval indices were determined through container surveys, and heads of households were interviewed to determine demographics, self-reported prior dengue infections, housing conditions, and knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding dengue. Multi-model selection methods were used to derive best-fit generalized linear regression models of prior dengue infection, and Aedes aegypti presence. We found that 24% of PB and 14% of PA respondents self-reported a prior dengue infection, and more PB homes than PA homes had Ae. aegypti. The top-ranked model for prior dengue infection included several factors related to human movement, household demographics, access to water quality issues, and dengue awareness. The top-ranked model for Ae. aegypti presence included housing conditions, mosquito control practices, and dengue risk perception. This is the first study of dengue risk and Ae. aegypti presence in the Galápagos Islands.
Keywords: Aedes aegypti; Ecuador; Galápagos; dengue fever; islands; social-ecological risk.