, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 210–221 | Cite as

Aedes Mosquito Infestation in Socioeconomically Contrasting Neighborhoods of Panama City

  • Ari WhitemanEmail author
  • Carmelo Gomez
  • Jose Rovira
  • Gang Chen
  • W. Owen McMillan
  • Jose Loaiza
Original Contribution


The global expansion and proliferation of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus represents a growing public health threat due to their capacity to transmit a variety of arboviruses to humans, including dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. Particularly important in urban regions, where these species have evolved to breed in man-made containers and feed nearly exclusively on human hosts, the threat of vector-borne disease has risen in recent decades due to the growth of cities, progression of climate change, and increase in globalization. While the dynamics of Aedes populations in urban settings have been well studied in relation to ecological features of the landscape, relatively less is known about the relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic status and Aedes infestation. Here, we compare infestation levels of both A. aegypti and A. albopictus in four socioeconomically contrasting neighborhoods of urban Panama City, Panama. Our results indicate that infestation levels for both Aedes species vary between neighborhoods of contrasting socioeconomic status, being higher in neighborhoods having lower percentage of residents with bachelor degrees and lower monthly household income. Additionally, we find that proximity between socioeconomically contrasting neighborhoods can predict infestation levels by species, with A. aegypti increasing and A. albopictus decreasing with proximity between neighborhoods. These findings hold key implications for the control and prevention of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika in Panama, a region with ongoing arbovirus outbreaks and high economic inequity.


Mosquito Vector-borne disease Social determinants of health Entomology 



We would like to thank the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute for their financial and logistical support of this project. This includes the Mosquito Team and Milton Solano for his GIS and remote sensing assistance. Lastly, we thank the residents whose willing participation in this study was vital to its success.


This work was funded through a Short-Term Fellowship with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© EcoHealth Alliance 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ari Whiteman
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Carmelo Gomez
    • 4
  • Jose Rovira
    • 2
  • Gang Chen
    • 1
  • W. Owen McMillan
    • 2
  • Jose Loaiza
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Earth SciencesUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  2. 2.Smithsonian Tropical Research InstituteBalboa AncónRepublic of Panama
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología (INDICASAT AIP)PanamaRepublic of Panama
  4. 4.Programa Centroamericano de Maestría en EntomologíaUniversidad de PanamáPanamaRepublic of Panama

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