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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Jan 18;5(1):e940. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000940.

Ecological modeling of Aedes aegypti (L.) pupal production in rural Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand.

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Department of Geography, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, United States of America.



Aedes aegypti (L.) is the primary vector of dengue, the most important arboviral infection globally. Until an effective vaccine is licensed and rigorously administered, Ae. aegypti control remains the principal tool in preventing and curtailing dengue transmission. Accurate predictions of vector populations are required to assess control methods and develop effective population reduction strategies. Ae. aegypti develops primarily in artificial water holding containers. Release recapture studies indicate that most adult Ae. aegypti do not disperse over long distances. We expect, therefore, that containers in an area of high development site density are more likely to be oviposition sites and to be more frequently used as oviposition sites than containers that are relatively isolated from other development sites. After accounting for individual container characteristics, containers more frequently used as oviposition sites are likely to produce adult mosquitoes consistently and at a higher rate. To this point, most studies of Ae. aegypti populations ignore the spatial density of larval development sites.


Pupal surveys were carried out from 2004 to 2007 in rural Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand. In total, 84,840 samples of water holding containers were used to estimate model parameters. Regression modeling was used to assess the effect of larval development site density, access to piped water, and seasonal variation on container productivity. A varying-coefficients model was employed to account for the large differences in productivity between container types. A two-part modeling structure, called a hurdle model, accounts for the large number of zeroes and overdispersion present in pupal population counts.


The number of suitable larval development sites and their density in the environment were the primary determinants of the distribution and abundance of Ae. aegypti pupae. The productivity of most container types increased significantly as habitat density increased. An ecological approach, accounting for development site density, is appropriate for predicting Ae. aegypti population levels and developing efficient vector control programs.

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