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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Oct;5(10):e1367. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001367. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Optimal timing of insecticide fogging to minimize dengue cases: modeling dengue transmission among various seasonalities and transmission intensities.

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  • 1Department of International Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, The Global Center of Excellence, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan. mrs_southern_wind@yahoo.co.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Dengue infection is endemic in many regions throughout the world. While insecticide fogging targeting the vector mosquito Aedes aegypti is a major control measure against dengue epidemics, the impact of this method remains controversial. A previous mathematical simulation study indicated that insecticide fogging minimized cases when conducted soon after peak disease prevalence, although the impact was minimal, possibly because seasonality and population immunity were not considered. Periodic outbreak patterns are also highly influenced by seasonal climatic conditions. Thus, these factors are important considerations when assessing the effect of vector control against dengue. We used mathematical simulations to identify the appropriate timing of insecticide fogging, considering seasonal change of vector populations, and to evaluate its impact on reducing dengue cases with various levels of transmission intensity.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We created the Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Recovered (SEIR) model of dengue virus transmission. Mosquito lifespan was assumed to change seasonally and the optimal timing of insecticide fogging to minimize dengue incidence under various lengths of the wet season was investigated. We also assessed whether insecticide fogging was equally effective at higher and lower endemic levels by running simulations over a 500-year period with various transmission intensities to produce an endemic state. In contrast to the previous study, the optimal application of insecticide fogging was between the onset of the wet season and the prevalence peak. Although it has less impact in areas that have higher endemicity and longer wet seasons, insecticide fogging can prevent a considerable number of dengue cases if applied at the optimal time.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The optimal timing of insecticide fogging and its impact on reducing dengue cases were greatly influenced by seasonality and the level of transmission intensity. We suggest that these factors should be considered when planning a control strategy against dengue vectors.

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