Background: Mosquito-borne viruses, such as Zika, dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya, are important causes of human diseases nearly worldwide. The greatest health risk for arboviral disease outbreaks is the presence of the most competent and highly invasive domestic mosquito, Aedes aegypti. In Cabo Verde, two recent arbovirus outbreaks were reported, a dengue outbreak in 2009, followed by a Zika outbreak in 2015. This study is the first entomological survey for Ae. aegypti that includes all islands of Cabo Verde archipelago, in which we aim to evaluate the actual risk of vector-borne arboviruses as a continuous update of the geographical distribution of this species.
Methods: In order to assess its current distribution and abundance, we undertook a mosquito larval survey in the nine inhabited islands of Cabo Verde from November 2018 to May 2019. Entomological larval survey indices were calculated, and the abundance analyzed. We collected and identified 4045 Ae. aegypti mosquitoes from 264 positive breeding sites in 22 municipalities and confirmed the presence of Ae. aegypti in every inhabited island. Results: Water drums were found to be the most prevalent containers (n = 3843; 62.9%), but puddles (n = 27; 0.4%) were the most productive habitats found. The overall average of the House, Container, and Breteau larval indices were 8.4%, 4.4%, and 10.9, respectively. However, 15 out of the 22 municipalities showed that the Breteau Index was above the epidemic risk threshold.
Conclusion: These results suggest that if no vector control measures are considered to be in place, the risk of new arboviral outbreaks in Cabo Verde is high. The vector control strategy adopted must include measures of public health directed to domestic water storage and management.
Keywords: Aedes aegypti; Cabo Verde; arboviruses; control; larval index; surveillance.