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Article

Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices Survey in Greece before the Implementation of Sterile Insect Technique against Aedes albopictus

1
Benaki Phytopathological Institute, Scientific Directorate of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, 14561 Kifissia, Greece
2
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY 12545, USA
3
Municipality of Markopoulo Mesogaias, 19003 Markopoulo, Greece
4
Laboratory of Agronomy, Department of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kostas Bourtzis and Marc Vreysen
Insects 2021, 12(3), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12030212
Received: 12 December 2020 / Revised: 24 February 2021 / Accepted: 25 February 2021 / Published: 2 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) and Its Applications)
Aedes albopictus, also known as the Asian tiger mosquito, tends to breed in various artificial containers frequently found in urban areas. Since urban areas cannot be easily accessed for the application of control measures, community engagement is considered beneficial in vector control. The area of Vravrona, Greece was selected for the implementation of the sterile insect technique (SIT) against Aedes albopictus for the first time in Greece. In the current study, a door-to-door campaign was used as a prerelease intervention to raise community awareness about SIT and encourage removal of mosquito habitats in their yards. A KAP (knowledge, attitude, practices) survey was used to collect these data of local community members. Our results demonstrate that using the door-to-door campaign as a prerelease method can raise community awareness, reduce the initial mosquito population, and potentially improve SIT efficacy. The participation of key persons, such as scientific experts and municipality members, in the implementation of the interventions is crucial for the successful engagement of community and may prove important in granting permission to enter their private properties for entomological surveillance.
Community involvement in Aedes albopictus management can be very efficient and result in raising awareness among citizens. Toward this end, a door-to-door campaign can encourage active community participation in vector control. The current study describes the results of an intervention where a KAP (knowledge, attitude, practices) survey tool was paired with a door-to-door campaign and was implemented as an intervention method in Vravrona area (Attica, Greece) before the release of sterile males (sterile insect technique, SIT) against Aedes albopictus. The KAP tool was used to shed light on the knowledge, practices, and attitudes of local community members in order to better prepare and motivate participation in household mosquito control and to assess current understanding of SIT. Each household also received specific information about mosquito source habitat in their own yards at the time of the initial KAP survey. These household data were complemented by standardized mosquito trapping in the municipality. Our findings indicate that citizens’ attitude toward SIT ranged from indecisive to fully supportive, while 77.5% of the respondents agreed that the SIT has many advantages over chemical control methods. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that using the door-to-door campaign as an intervention and prerelease method before SIT can suppress the initial mosquito population and potentially improve its efficacy. Lastly, we show that the presence of local municipality officials during door-to-door visits was associated with increased willingness from the residents to participate in the intervention. View Full-Text
Keywords: Asian tiger mosquito; KAP questionnaires; community engagement Asian tiger mosquito; KAP questionnaires; community engagement
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MDPI and ACS Style

Stefopoulou, A.; LaDeau, S.L.; Syrigou, N.; Balatsos, G.; Karras, V.; Lytra, I.; Boukouvala, E.; Papachristos, D.P.; Milonas, P.G.; Kapranas, A.; Vahamidis, P.; Michaelakis, A. Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices Survey in Greece before the Implementation of Sterile Insect Technique against Aedes albopictus. Insects 2021, 12, 212. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12030212

AMA Style

Stefopoulou A, LaDeau SL, Syrigou N, Balatsos G, Karras V, Lytra I, Boukouvala E, Papachristos DP, Milonas PG, Kapranas A, Vahamidis P, Michaelakis A. Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices Survey in Greece before the Implementation of Sterile Insect Technique against Aedes albopictus. Insects. 2021; 12(3):212. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12030212

Chicago/Turabian Style

Stefopoulou, Angeliki, Shannon L. LaDeau, Nefeli Syrigou, George Balatsos, Vasileios Karras, Ioanna Lytra, Evangelia Boukouvala, Dimitrios P. Papachristos, Panagiotis G. Milonas, Apostolos Kapranas, Petros Vahamidis, and Antonios Michaelakis. 2021. "Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices Survey in Greece before the Implementation of Sterile Insect Technique against Aedes albopictus" Insects 12, no. 3: 212. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12030212

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