New statistical framework developed by scientists can be used to assess mosquito control programs over broad time and space scales. The findings of the study are published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the main vector for numerous viruses and control efforts are underway for many of the associated mosquito-borne diseases. Until better vaccines become available, controlling transmission by reducing Ae. aegypti populations remains the primary tool available to combat disease burden. However, there is a lack of "best practices" to follow and a lack of rigorously collected, quantitative data on Ae. aegypti control programs.
In the new work, Robert Reiner, of the University of Washington, United States, and colleagues designed a framework to model Ae. aegypti abundance over space and time and applied it to a citywide intervention carried out in Iquitos, Peru over a 12-year period. The interventions included multiple rounds of insecticide spray over large urban areas. Data spanning 1999 to 2010 was available on insecticide applications as well as mosquito abundance, from 176,352 household-level Ae. aegypti abundance surveys conducted using hand-held mosquito aspirators.
"Our framework can be directly translated to other interventions in other locations with geolocated mosquito abundance data," the researchers say. "Results from our analysis can be used to inform future vector-control applications in Ae. aegypti endemic areas globally."