Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Philip M. Armstrong

Second Advisor

Andrea Gloria-Soria


Introduction: Aedes albopictus is a highly successful invasive mosquito. Its presence and expansion into Connecticut have implications for human and animal health. The factors limiting Ae. albopictus spread and risk by the pathogens it carries have not been previously examined. Methods: This study leveraged data from the Connecticut Mosquito and Arbovirus Surveillance Program during 2006-2022 and a project designed to characterize mosquito-borne filarial parasite species in Connecticut from 2020-2021. We examined correlations between mosquito abundance and winter temperature as well as land use. We described the arboviruses detected in Ae. albopictus collections and calculated the risk of Ae. albopictus transmitting Dirofilaria immitis to mammals. Results: Ae. albopictus has successfully invaded Fairfield and New Haven counties and spread northward into Hartford County in a 16-year period. Mosquito abundance was significantly correlated with cumulative winter days below 0°C (r = -0.73, -0.91 to -0.30) and percentage of developed land use (r = 0.73, 0.52-0.86). Only 6 Ae. albopictus pools (0.03%) tested positive for arboviruses, including Cache Valley virus, Potosi virus, and West Nile virus. However, Ae. albopictus had the highest entomological risk to transmit D. immitis among 17 species tested. Conclusion: Current risk of Ae. albopictus to transmit arboviruses in Connecticut is low, in contrast to its likely important role in D. immitis transmission. Continued surveillance of Ae. albopictus is necessary to monitor its geographic distribution, abundance, and vector status. Future research could model changes in Ae. albopictus expansion and potential to transmit diseases due to climate change, urbanization, and globalization.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access