Characterising the spatial dynamics of sympatric Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus populations in the Philippines

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Jennifer Duncombe *
Fe Espino
Kristian Marollano
Aldwin Velazco
Scott A. Ritchie
Wenbiao Hu
Philip Weinstein
Archie C. A. Clements
(*) Corresponding Author:
Jennifer Duncombe | j.duncombe@uq.edu.au

Abstract

Entomological surveillance and control are essential to the management of dengue fever (DF). Hence, understanding the spatial and temporal patterns of DF vectors, Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.) and Ae. (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse), is paramount. In the Philippines, resources are limited and entomological surveillance and control are generally commenced during epidemics, when transmission is difficult to control. Recent improvements in spatial epidemiological tools and methods offer opportunities to explore more efficient DF surveillance and control solutions: however, there are few examples in the literature from resource-poor settings. The objectives of this study were to: (i) explore spatial patterns of Aedes populations and (ii) predict areas of high and low vector density to inform DF control in San Jose village, Muntinlupa city, Philippines. Fortnightly, adult female Aedes mosquitoes were collected from 50 double-sticky ovitraps (SOs) located in San Jose village for the period June-November 2011. Spatial clustering analysis was performed to identify high and low density clusters of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes. Spatial autocorrelation was assessed by examination of semivariograms, and ordinary kriging was undertaken to create a smoothed surface of predicted vector density in the study area. Our results show that both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus were present in San Jose village during the study period. However, one Aedes species was dominant in a given geographic area at a time, suggesting differing habitat preferences and interspecies competition between vectors. Density maps provide information to direct entomological control activities and advocate the development of geographically enhanced surveillance and control systems to improve DF management in the Philippines.

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