Entomologic investigations of a chikungunya virus epidemic in the Union of the Comoros, 2005

R. C. Sang, O. Ahmed, O. Faye, C. L. H. Kelly, A. A. Yahaya, I. Mmadi, A. Toilibou, K. Sergon, J. Brown, N. Agata, A. Yakouide, M. D. Ball, R. F. Breiman, B. R. Miller, A. M. Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


From January to April 2005, an epidemic of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) illness occurred in the Union of Comoros. Entomological studies were undertaken during the peak of the outbreak, from March 11 to March 31, aimed at identifying the primary vector(s) involved in transmission so that appropriate public health measures could be implemented. Adult mosquitoes were collected by backpack aspiration and human landing collection in homes and neighborhoods of clinically ill patients. Water-holding containers were inspected for presence of mosquito larvae. Adult mosquitoes were analyzed by RT-PCR and cultivation in cells for the presence of CHIK virus and/or nucleic acid. A total of 2,326 mosquitoes were collected and processed in 199 pools. The collection consisted of 62.8% Aedes aegypti, 25.5% Culex species, and 10.7% Aedes simpsoni complex, Eretmapodites spp and Anopheles spp. Seven mosquito pools were found to be positive for CHIKV RNA and 1 isolate was obtained. The single CHIKV mosquito isolate was from a pool of Aedes aegypti and the minimum infection rate (MIR) for this species was 4.0, suggesting that Ae. aegypti was the principal vector responsible for the outbreak. This was supported by high container (31.1%), household (68%), and Breteau (126) indices, with discarded tires (58.8%) and small cooking and water storage vessels (31.1%) registering the highest container indices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


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