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Estimating dengue vector abundance in the wet and dry season: implications for targeted vector control in urban and peri-urban Asia.


Research has shown that the classical Stegomyia indices (or "larval indices") of the dengue vector Aedes aegypti reflect the absence or presence of the vector but do not provide accurate measures of adult mosquito density. In contrast, pupal indices as collected in pupal productivity surveys are a much better proxy indicator for adult vector abundance. However, it is unknown when it is most optimal to conduct pupal productivity surveys, in the wet or in the dry season or in both, to inform control services about the most productive water container types and if this pattern varies among different ecological settings.A multi-country study in randomly selected twelve to twenty urban and peri-urban neighborhoods ("clusters") of six Asian countries, in which all water holding containers were examined for larvae and pupae of Aedes aegypti during the dry season and the wet season and their productivity was characterized by water container types. In addition, meteorological data and information on reported dengue cases were collected.The study reconfirmed the association between rainfall and dengue cases ("dengue season") and underlined the importance of determining through pupal productivity surveys the "most productive containers types", responsible for the majority (>70%) of adult dengue vectors. The variety of productive container types was greater during the wet than during the dry season, but included practically all container types productive in the dry season. Container types producing pupae were usually different from those infested by larvae indicating that containers with larval infestations do not necessarily foster pupal development and thus the production of adult Aedes mosquitoes.Pupal productivity surveys conducted during the wet season will identify almost all of the most productive container types for both the dry and wet seasons and will therefore facilitate cost-effective targeted interventions.