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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Peru : Mosquito 'egg sinks' offer target for dengue control

Article from Science and Development Network, excerpt :

" Mosquitoes' love of crowds when laying eggs could be used against them to help control dengue fever outbreaks, according to a study in Peru.

The WHO's recommended control strategy for the dengue vector Aedes aegypti targets the mosquito's immature stages, and assumes that eliminating most water containers, where they lay eggs, would cut mosquito numbers by a similar proportion.

But a study in Peru has found that mosquitoes choose to lay eggs at sites that are already heavily infested with them. If these are removed or treated with larvicides, the mosquitoes look for other suitable sites, reducing the effectiveness of control measures.

Dengue fever is a potentially fatal disease caused by a virus and transmitted by mosquitoes. It threatens two-fifths of the world's population, mainly in the tropics and sub-tropics, and its incidence has been on the rise, according to the WHO.

The study was carried out in Iquitos, Peru, where a virulent dengue outbreak killed 14 people earlier this year (see Peru: a new dengue strain has caused an epidemic, in Spanish)."

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