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Trop Med Int Health. 2011 Aug;16(8):965-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2011.02797.x. Epub 2011 May 23.

Does targeting key-containers effectively reduce Aedes aegypti population density?

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Laboratório de Transmissores de Hematozoários, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



The elimination of Aedes aegypti breeding sites has been broadly adopted worldwide to keep vector population density below a critical threshold. We observed the effectiveness of targeting the most productive containers on adult A. aegypti females density, which was evaluated weekly.


Adult mosquitoes were collected weekly over 55 weeks and pupal surveys were done in intervals of 4 months to determine container productivity and guidelines for interventions. Pupal surveys indicated that water tanks (72% of pupae in first survey) and metal drums (30.7% of pupae in second survey) were the most productive container types. We observed a dramatic but short-term decrease in weekly adult female A. aegypti density after covering 733 water tanks with nylon net. A long-term decrease in female adult population density was achieved only when we covered both water tanks and metal drums. Overall, pupae abundance and pupae standing crop diminished after netting water tanks and metal drums. Pupae per person, per hectare and per house decreased gradually between the first and the third pupal surveys, suggesting that targeting the most productive container types (water tanks and metal drums) produced a reduction in adult population density and infestation levels.


Overall, targeting the most productive container types caused the adult mosquito density to decrease over time, supporting the assumption that this intervention is an effective tool for dengue control. However, this effect was observed only when both water tanks and metal drums were covered, possibly due to the functional similarity between these container types, which are large, often shaded, perennial water storage containers.

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