Household and climate factors influence Aedes aegypti presence in the arid city of Huaquillas, Ecuador

James L Martin, Catherine A Lippi, Anna M Stewart-Ibarra, Efraín Beltrán Ayala, Erin A Mordecai, Rachel Sippy, Froilán Heras Heras, Jason K Blackburn, Sadie J Ryan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arboviruses transmitted by Aedes aegypti (e.g., dengue, chikungunya, Zika) are of major public health concern on the arid coastal border of Ecuador and Peru. This high transit border is a critical disease surveillance site due to human movement-associated risk of transmission. Local level studies are thus integral to capturing the dynamics and distribution of vector populations and social-ecological drivers of risk, to inform targeted public health interventions. Our study examines factors associated with household-level Ae. aegypti presence in Huaquillas, Ecuador, while accounting for spatial and temporal effects. From January to May of 2017, adult mosquitoes were collected from a cohort of households (n = 63) in clusters (n = 10), across the city of Huaquillas, using aspirator backpacks. Household surveys describing housing conditions, demographics, economics, travel, disease prevention, and city services were conducted by local enumerators. This study was conducted during the normal arbovirus transmission season (January-May), but during an exceptionally dry year. Household level Ae. aegypti presence peaked in February, and counts were highest in weeks with high temperatures and a week after increased rainfall. Univariate analyses with proportional odds logistic regression were used to explore household social-ecological variables and female Ae. aegypti presence. We found that homes were more likely to have Ae. aegypti when households had interruptions in piped water service. Ae. aegypti presence was less likely in households with septic systems. Based on our findings, infrastructure access and seasonal climate are important considerations for vector control in this city, and even in dry years, the arid environment of Huaquillas supports Ae. aegypti breeding habitat.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0009931
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2021


  • Aedes/physiology
  • Animal distribution
  • Animals
  • Cities
  • Climate
  • Ecosystem
  • Ecuador
  • Family characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mosquito control
  • Mosquito vectors/physiology
  • Seasons
  • Temperature


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