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J Med Entomol. 2013 Mar;50(2):317-25.

Pilot field trials with Aedes albopictus irradiated sterile males in Italian urban areas.

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Medical and Veterinary Entomology, Agriculture and Environment Center "G. Nicoli", Via Argini Nord 3351, 40014 Crevalcore (BO), Italy.


The pilot field studies here presented are part of a long-term research program aimed to develop a cost-effective sterile insect technique (SIT) methodology to suppress Aedes albopictus (Skuse) populations. Aedes albopictus is a mosquito species mainly developing in man-made containers and with an island-like urban and suburban distribution. These two features make the application of the sterile insect technique a possible control strategy. Five trials have been performed in three small towns from 2005 to 2009 (Emilia-Romagna region, northern Italy). Reared male pupae, sexed by a sieving technique allowing the recovery of approximately 26-29% of males, were exposed to gamma rays and immediately released in the field. Adult population density was estimated based on a weekly monitoring of egg density in the ovitraps, whereas induced sterility was estimated by measuring the hatching percentage of weekly collected eggs in SIT and control areas. Results showed that sterile males released at the rate of 896-1,590 males/ha/wk induced a significant sterility level in the local population. In addition, when the sterility level achieved values in the range of 70-80%, a similar reduction also was found for the egg density in the ovitraps. We could estimate that the minimum egg sterility value of 81% should be maintained to obtain suppression of the local population. Immigration of mated females was not a main issue in the small villages where trials have been run.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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