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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


MORROW, Meredith G; JOHNSON, Richard N; POLANCO, Jorge  and  CLABORN, David M. Mosquito vector abundance immediately before and after tropical storms Alma and Arthur, northern Belize, 2008. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.1, pp.19-24. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To monitor adult mosquito abundance in northern Belize before/after the first tropical storm of the wet season to estimate the time required for development/recovery of potential vector populations; determine which species predominate post-storm; and compare the effectiveness of two types of mosquito traps-octenol-baited Mosquito Magnets® and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light traps (with/without octenol). METHODS: Field experiments were conducted in Orange Walk Town, Belize, 21 May to 3 June 2008. Incidence rate ratios and exact binomial 95% confidence intervals were reported and trap-nights calculated to compare species abundance pre- and post-storm as well as trap-type effectiveness. RESULTS: Twice as many species and three times more Anopheles spp. were trapped pre-storm versus post-storm. However, greater numbers of Aedes taeniorhynchus and Culex (Culex) spp. were trapped post-storm. Mosquito Magnets® were consistently more effective than the CDC traps, obtaining twice as many Anopheles spp. and four times as many culicine species as the octenol-baited version (which collected 14 times more mosquitoes overall and 3.5 times more culicine species than the unbaited version). The unbaited CDC trap did not trap any Anopheles spp. during the study period. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicated octenol is an effective attractant for An. crucians in northern Belize; malaria risk in Belize declines immediately post-storm (i.e., mosquito abundance drops); and arboviral risk associated with the rapid increase in culicine mosquitoes post-storm may represent a greater public health threat than malaria (although further research and active disease surveillance is necessary to validate this hypothesis).

Keywords : Insect vectors; mosquito control; vector control; malaria; tropical storm; Belize.

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