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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1997 Feb;56(2):159-67.

Pupal survey: an epidemiologically significant surveillance method for Aedes aegypti: an example using data from Trinidad.

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Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Gainesville, Florida, USA.


This report documents the results of a country-wide pupal survey of Aedes aegypti (L.) conducted in Trinidad. The survey was designed to identify the important Ae. aegypti-producing containers, importance being a function of a container's abundance and its productivity. Results are summarized on a country-wide basis and by county: urban versus rural comparisons are also made. Numerically, the most common water-filled containers positive for the larvae or pupae of Ae. aegypti (foci) were outdoor drums, water storage tanks and buckets, laundry tubs, discarded tires, and small miscellaneous containers such as drink bottles and cans. The island-wide average number of foci per hectare was 287 and ranged between 65 and 499. The average standing crop per container of Ae. aegypti pupae was 9.5 and ranged 12-fold, the most and least productive being the flower pot (> 30) and the small indoor vase (< 3), respectively. In terms of production by type of container, four of the 11 types, outdoor drums, tubs, buckets, and small containers, accounted for > 90% of all Ae. aegypti pupae: the remaining seven types were responsible for < 10%. If targeted source reduction programs were directed by how important various container types were in the production of Ae. aegypti, environmental sanitation efforts designed to actually eliminate the ubiquitous small receptacle and tires would reduce mosquito densities by 43%; the provision of an adequate water supply system precluding the need for water storage in drums and buckets would have the potential to eliminate an additional 38%. Combined, these two measures have the potential to reduce the sources responsible for > 80% of Ae. aegypti production in the country. In our survey, the traditional Stegomyia indices used to document the density of Ae. aegypti and predict the threat of dengue transmission, the House, Container, and Breteau indices, were seen to have virtually no correspondence with the actual number of pupae per hectare or per person. We conclude that pupal survey is more appropriate for assessing risk and directing control operations.

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