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Genetic variability of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) in El Salvador and Honduras: presence of a widespread haplotype and implications for mosquito control.

BACKGROUND: This study examined population genetics of Aedes aegypti in El Salvador and Honduras, two adjacent countries in Central America. Aedes aegypti is associated with yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. Each year, thousands of cases of dengue are typically reported in El Salvador and Honduras.

METHODS: In El Salvador, collections were obtained from five Departments. In Honduras, samples were obtained from six municipalities in four Departments. Mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase I (COI) was sequenced, and consensus sequences were combined with available sequences from El Salvador to determine haplotype number, haplotype diversity, nucleotide diversity, and Tajima's D. A haplotype network was produced to examine the relationship between genotypes.

RESULTS: In El Salvador, there were 17 haplotypes, while in Honduras there were 4 haplotypes. In both El Salvador and Honduras, Haplotype 1 is most abundant and widespread. In El Salvador, haplotype H2 was also widespread in 10 of 11 sampled municipalities, but it was not present in Honduras. The capital of El Salvador (San Salvador) and the eastern region of ES had the highest haplotype diversity of regions sampled.

CONCLUSIONS: Haplotype 1 and H2 each belong to different phylogenetic lineages of Ae. aegypti. The most geographically widespread haplotype (H1) may have been present the longest and could be a remnant from previous eradication programs. These data may contribute to future control programs for Ae. aegypti in the two countries.

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