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J Med Entomol. 2008 Nov;45(6):1173-9.

Rapid estimation of Aedes aegypti population size using simulation modeling, with a novel approach to calibration and field validation.

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  • 1Sansom Institute, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia.


New approaches for control of the dengue vector Aedes aegypti (L.) are being developed, including the potential introduction of life-shortening symbiont bacteria into field populations and the release of transgenic strains with reduced vector competency. With these new approaches comes the need for rapid estimations of existing field population size. Here, we describe the use of simulation modeling with container-inhabiting mosquito simulation (CIMSiM) for estimation of Ae. aegypti pupal crop size in north Queensland, Australia. CIMSiM was calibrated for local conditions by deploying "sentinel key containers" (tire, 2-liter plastic bucket, 0.6-liter pot plant base, and tarpaulin indentation) in which water flux and pupal productivity were studied for 72 d. Iterative adjustment of CIMSiM parameters was used to fit model outputs to match that of sentinel key containers. This calibrated model was then used in a blind field validation, in which breeding container and local meteorological data were used to populate CIMSiM, and model outputs were compared with a field pupal survey. Actual pupae per ha during two 10-d periods in 2007 fell within 95% confidence intervals of simulated pupal crop estimates made by 10 replicate simulations in CIMSiM, thus providing a successful field validation. Although the stochasticity of the field environment can never be wholly simulated, CIMSiM can provide field-validated estimates of pupal crop in a timely manner by using simple container surveys.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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