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Revista chilena de infectología

Print version ISSN 0716-1018


ALANIZ, Alberto J.; BACIGALUPO, Antonella  and  CATTAN, Pedro E.. Zika: Probability of establishment of its vector, Aedes aegypti, in Chile. Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2017, vol.34, n.6, pp.553-556. ISSN 0716-1018.

The Zika virus has raised world alarm in recent years, representing a major public health problem. In this study we evaluated the potential risk of exposure to Zika virus in Chile, associated with the probability of establishment of the vector Aedes aegypti in the country. Niche modelling techniques were used to project the bioclimatic requirements of the vector (global niches), identifying zones of high suitability for the species within the country. Then, the potential distribution of the vector in Chile was overlapped with the human population density, estimating the risk associated to the potential co-occurrence of both in a spatially explicit manner. We identified bioclimatic suitability for A. aegypti in continental Chile, from the northern tropical area to temperate regions, mainly in coastal zones. The exposed population could reach 1.8 million people, with 1.3 million in a medium level of potential risk and 21,000 in a high level. These results support that there is a significant probability of success for the Zika virus main vector to colonize continental Chile in case of an introduction. Therefore, prevention, monitoring, and control play an important role in avoiding the arrival of this vector to our country.

Keywords : Zika virus; Aedes aegypti; habitat suitability; exposure risk; infectious vector diseases.

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