The extinction of dengue through natural vulnerability of its vectors

Williams, Craig R., Bader, Christie A., Kearney, Michael R., Ritchie, Scott A., and Russell, Richard C. (2010) The extinction of dengue through natural vulnerability of its vectors. PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease, 4 (12). E922.

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Background Dengue is the world's most important mosquito-borne viral illness. Successful future management of this disease requires an understanding of the population dynamics of the vector, especially in the context of changing climates. Our capacity to predict future dynamics is reflected in our ability to explain the significant historical changes in the distribution and abundance of the disease and its vector.

Methodology/Principal Findings Here we combine daily weather records with simulation modelling techniques to explain vector (Aedes aegypti (L.)) persistence within its current and historic ranges in Australia. We show that, in regions where dengue presently occurs in Australia (the Wet Tropics region of Far North Queensland), conditions are persistently suitable for year-round adult Ae. aegypti activity and oviposition. In the historic range, however, the vector is vulnerable to periodic extinction due to the combined influence of adult activity constraints and stochastic loss of suitable oviposition sites.

Conclusions/Significance These results, together with changes in water-storage behaviour by humans, can explain the observed historical range contraction of the disease vector. For these reasons, future eradication of dengue in wet tropical regions will be extremely difficult through classical mosquito control methods alone. However, control of Ae. aegypti in sub-tropical and temperate regions will be greatly facilitated by government policy regulating domestic water-storage. Exploitation of the natural vulnerabilities of dengue vectors (e.g., habitat specificity, climatic limitations) should be integrated with the emerging novel transgenic and symbiotic bacterial control techniques to develop future control and elimination strategies.

Item ID: 15820
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1935-2735
Keywords: dengue, Aedes aegypti, computer model
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Copyright: © 2010 Williams et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2011 04:47
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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