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Article

The Eco-Bio-Social Factors That Modulate Aedes aegypti Abundance in South Texas Border Communities

1
Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
2
Pacific Biosciences Research Center, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
3
Colorado School of Public Health, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
4
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
5
Instituto Costarricense de Investigación y Enseñanza en Nutrición y Salud (INCIENSA), Tres Ríos 4-2250, Cartago, Costa Rica
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Paul T. Leisnham and Bruce Noden
Insects 2021, 12(2), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12020183
Received: 19 January 2021 / Revised: 16 February 2021 / Accepted: 18 February 2021 / Published: 21 February 2021
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is distributed worldwide and has become a major public health concern due to its proclivity for the urban environment, human feeding behavior, and ability to transmit agents of diseases such as Zika, chikungunya, and dengue. In the continental United States, the region known as the Lower Rio Grande Valley is one of the few areas with local mosquito transmission of these pathogens transmitted by Ae. aegypti. With limited resources for mosquito control in this region, understanding the ecological, biological, and social factors that affect Ae. aegypti population can help guide and improve current control efforts. We were able to observe widespread knowledge regarding Zika, but with very low importance given to mosquitoes as a problem. We found that the presence of window-mounted air conditioning units, number of windows and doors, characteristics of the property, and presence of children in the household all influenced the abundance of Ae. aegypti. The current results not only show a need for improved community engagement for increasing disease and mosquito risk awareness, but also provide risk factors that can guide current vector control activities.
Aedes aegypti control requires dedicated resources that are usually scarce, limiting the reach and sustainability of vector control programs. This generates a need to focus on areas at risk of disease transmission and also understand the factors that might modulate local mosquito abundance. We evaluated the eco-bio-social factors that modulate indoor and outdoor relative abundance of female Ae. aegypti in communities of South Texas. We conducted housing quality and Knowledge Attitudes and Practices surveys in households that were part of a weekly mosquito surveillance program in November of 2017 and 2018. Our results showed widespread knowledge of mosquitoes and Zika virus by our participants. However, less than 35% considered them as serious problems in this region. The presence of window-mounted air conditioning units increased the risk of female mosquito relative abundance indoors. An increase in outdoor relative abundance was associated with larger properties and a higher number of children between 6 to 17 years of age. Interestingly, we observed that an increasing number of children <5 years of age modulated both indoor and outdoor relative abundance, with a 52% increase indoors and 30% decrease outdoors. The low perception of mosquito and disease risk highlights engagement needs for vector-borne disease prevention in this region. The identified risk factors can help guide public health officials in their efforts to reduce human and vector contact. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aedes aegypti; Knowledge Attitudes and Practices (KAP); risk factors; vector control; integrated vector management Aedes aegypti; Knowledge Attitudes and Practices (KAP); risk factors; vector control; integrated vector management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Juarez, J.G.; Garcia-Luna, S.M.; Medeiros, M.C.I.; Dickinson, K.L.; Borucki, M.K.; Frank, M.; Badillo-Vargas, I.; Chaves, L.F.; Hamer, G.L. The Eco-Bio-Social Factors That Modulate Aedes aegypti Abundance in South Texas Border Communities. Insects 2021, 12, 183. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12020183

AMA Style

Juarez JG, Garcia-Luna SM, Medeiros MCI, Dickinson KL, Borucki MK, Frank M, Badillo-Vargas I, Chaves LF, Hamer GL. The Eco-Bio-Social Factors That Modulate Aedes aegypti Abundance in South Texas Border Communities. Insects. 2021; 12(2):183. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12020183

Chicago/Turabian Style

Juarez, Jose G., Selene M. Garcia-Luna, Matthew C.I. Medeiros, Katherine L. Dickinson, Monica K. Borucki, Matthias Frank, Ismael Badillo-Vargas, Luis F. Chaves, and Gabriel L. Hamer. 2021. "The Eco-Bio-Social Factors That Modulate Aedes aegypti Abundance in South Texas Border Communities" Insects 12, no. 2: 183. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12020183

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