Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 15 (2), e0220753

Arbovirus Vectors of Epidemiological Concern in the Americas: A Scoping Review of Entomological Studies on Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya Virus Vectors


Arbovirus Vectors of Epidemiological Concern in the Americas: A Scoping Review of Entomological Studies on Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya Virus Vectors

Reilly Jones et al. PLoS One.


Background: Three arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) causing human disease have been the focus of a large number of studies in the Americas since 2013 due to their global spread and epidemiological impacts: Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses. A large proportion of infections by these viruses are asymptomatic. However, all three viruses are associated with moderate to severe health consequences in a small proportion of cases. Two mosquito species, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, are among the world's most prominent arboviral vectors, and are known vectors for all three viruses in the Americas.

Objectives: This review summarizes the state of the entomological literature surrounding the mosquito vectors of Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses and factors affecting virus transmission. The rationale of the review was to identify and characterize entomological studies that have been conducted in the Americas since the introduction of chikungunya virus in 2013, encompassing a period of arbovirus co-circulation, and guide future research based on identified knowledge gaps.

Methods: The preliminary search for this review was conducted on PubMed (National Library of Health, Bethesda, MD, United States). The search included the terms 'zika' OR 'dengue' OR 'chikungunya' AND 'vector' OR 'Aedes aegypti' OR 'Aedes albopictus'. The search was conducted on March 1st of 2018, and included all studies since January 1st of 2013.

Results: A total of 96 studies were included in the scoping review after initial screening and subsequent exclusion of out-of-scope studies, secondary data publications, and studies unavailable in English language.

Key findings: We observed a steady increase in number of publications, from 2013 to 2018, with half of all studies published from January 2017 to March 2018. Interestingly, information on Zika virus vector species composition was abundant, but sparse on Zika virus transmission dynamics. Few studies examined natural infection rates of Zika virus, vertical transmission, or co-infection with other viruses. This is in contrast to the wealth of research available on natural infection and co-infection for dengue and chikungunya viruses, although vertical transmission research was sparse for all three viruses.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Fig 1
Fig 1. Summary of screening and exclusion steps of this scoping review’s methodology, and resulting number of publications after each step.
Fig 2
Fig 2. Average monthly number of publications included in the scoping review, for each year since 2013, out of a total of 96.
*Year-to-date on March 1st 2018.

Similar articles

See all similar articles


    1. Dick GWA, Kitchen SF, Haddow AJ. Zika virus. I. Isolations and serological specificity. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1952;46: 509–520. 10.1016/0035-9203(52)90042-4 - DOI - PubMed
    1. Weaver SC, Costa F, Garcia-Blanco MA, Ko AI, Ribeiro GS, Saade G, et al. Zika virus: History, emergence, biology, and prospects for control. Antiviral Res. 2016;130: 69–80. 10.1016/j.antiviral.2016.03.010 - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. World Health Organization. Zika virus. 2018. Available:
    1. Hills SL, Fischer M, Petersen LR. Epidemiology of Zika virus infection. J Infect Dis. 2017;216: S868–S874. 10.1093/infdis/jix434 - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Kamgang B, Yougang AP, Tchoupo M, Riveron JM, Wondji C. Temporal distribution and insecticide resistance profile of two major arbovirus vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon. Parasit Vectors. 2017;10: 469 10.1186/s13071-017-2408-x - DOI - PMC - PubMed

Grant support

This study was funded by a grant from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and International Development Research Centre (IDRC)’s CIHR-IDRC Canada-Latin America and Caribbean Zika Virus Research Program to the RADAM-LAC Research Team, and an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science to MK.