Autochthonous transmission

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Literally, "native to the soil"; from autochthon +‎ -ous

Autochthonous transmission means refers to the transmission of a communicable disease from one case to another, in the same place.

Of course, with most diseases, this is the normal course of events.

Some diseases, however - mostly those spread by a vector such as a mosquito can only be spread where the conditions for the vector's survival are suitable. For this reason it is unusual for somebody to catch malaria,[1][2][3][4] dengue fever,[5][6][7][8][9][10] or Chikungunya fever[11] in temperate climate countries.

A disease may start to be transmitted autochthonously if e.g,:

  • The vector is introduced to a new area where it can survive,
  • The vector or reintroduced into an area where it can survive, having been eliminated
  • The environment in an a place changes - perhaps due to climate change - so that the vector can now survive in an area where this was not previously possible.


  1. Santa-Olalla Peralta P, Vazquez-Torres MC, Latorre-Fandos E, Mairal-Claver P, Cortina-Solano P, Puy-Azon A, et al. First autochthonous malaria case due to Plasmodium vivax since eradication, Spain, October. Euro Surveill 15(41):19684 PMID: 20961517.
  2. Maselli LM, Levy D, Laporta GZ, Monteiro AM, Fukuya LA, Ferreira-da-Cruz MF, Daniel-Ribeiro CT, Dorlhiac-Llacer PE, Sallum MA, Bydlowski SP. Detection of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax subclinical infection in non-endemic region: implications for blood transfusion and malaria epidemiology. Malaria journal. 13(1):224.(Epub) (Link to article – subscription may be required.)
  3. Gougoutsi A, Karageorgopoulos DE, Dimitriadou A, Melas N, Kranidiotis G, Voutsinas D, Melidonis A. Severe Plasmodium vivax malaria complicated with acute respiratory distress syndrome: a case associated with focal autochthonous transmission in Greece. Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.). May; 14(5):378-81.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)
  4. Gallien S, Taieb F, Hamane S, De Castro N, Molina JM. Autochthonous falciparum malaria possibly transmitted by luggage-carried vector in Paris, France, February. Euro surveillance : bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin. 18(40):.(Epub)
  5. Gobbi F, Capelli G, Angheben A, Giobbia M, Conforto M, Franzetti M, Cattelan AM, Raise E, Rovere P, Mulatti P, Montarsi F, Drago A, Barzon L, Napoletano G, Zanella F, Pozza F, Russo F, Rosi P, Palù G, Bisoffi Z. Human and entomological surveillance of West Nile fever, dengue and chikungunya in Veneto Region, Italy. BMC infectious diseases. 14:60.(Epub) (Link to article – subscription may be required.)
  6. Schmidt-Chanasit J, Emmerich P, Tappe D, Gunther S, Schmidt S, Wolff D, Hentschel K, Sagebiel D, Schoneberg I, Stark K, Frank C. Autochthonous dengue virus infection in Japan imported into Germany, September. Euro surveillance : bulletin Européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin. 19(3):.(Epub)
  7. Seixas G, Salgueiro P, Silva AC, Campos M, Spenassatto C, Reyes-Lugo M, Novo MT, Ribolla PE, da Silva Pinto JP, Sousa CA. Aedes aegypti on Madeira Island (Portugal): genetic variation of a recently introduced dengue vector. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. 108 Suppl 1:3-10.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)
  8. Huang X, Williams G, Clements AC, Hu W. Imported dengue cases, weather variation and autochthonous dengue incidence in Cairns, Australia. PloS one. 8(12):e81887.(Epub) (Link to article – subscription may be required.)
  9. Pierro A, Landini MP, Gaibani P, Rossini G, Vocale C, Finarelli AC, Cagarelli R, Sambri V, Varani S. A model of laboratory surveillance for neuro-arbovirosis applied during in the Emilia-Romagna region, Italy. Clinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Oct 27.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)
  10. Tomasello D, Schlagenhauf P. Chikungunya and dengue autochthonous cases in Europe. Travel medicine and infectious disease. Sep-Oct; 11(5):274-84.(Link to article – subscription may be required.)
  11. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Epidemiological update: autochthonous cases of chikungunya fever in the Caribbean region and South America. Updated 21 February; Accessed: (8 July).