Characterization and productivity profiles of Aedes aegypti (L.) breeding habitats across rural and urban landscapes in western and coastal Kenya.
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BACKGROUND: Aedes aegypti, the principal vector for dengue and other emerging arboviruses, breeds preferentially in various man-made and natural container habitats. In the absence of vaccine, epidemiological surveillance and vector control remain the best practices for preventing dengue outbreaks. Effective vector control depends on a good understanding of larval and adult vector ecology of which little is known in Kenya. In the current study, we sought to characterize breeding habitats and establish container productivity profiles of Ae. aegypti in rural and urban sites in western and coastal Kenya. METHODS: Twenty sentinel houses in each of four study sites (in western and coastal Kenya) were assessed for immature mosquito infestation once a month for a period of 24 months (June 2014 to May 2016). All water-holding containers in and around the households were inspected for Ae. aegypti larvae and pupae. RESULTS: Collections were made from a total of 22,144 container visits: Chulaimbo (7575) and Kisumu (8003) in the west, and from Msambweni (3199) and Ukunda (3367) on the coast. Of these, only 4-5.6% were positive for Ae. aegypti immatures. In all four sites, significantly more positive containers were located outdoors than indoors. A total of 17,537 Ae. aegypti immatures were sampled from 10 container types. The most important habitat types were buckets, drums, tires, and pots, which produced over 75% of all the pupae. Key outdoor containers in the coast were buckets, drums and tires, which accounted for 82% of the pupae, while pots and tires were the only key containers in the western region producing 70% of the pupae. Drums, buckets and pots were the key indoor containers, producing nearly all of the pupae in the coastal sites. No pupae were collected indoors in the western region. The coastal region produced significantly more Ae. aegypti immatures than the western region both inside and outside the sentinel houses. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that productive Ae. aegypti larval habitats are abundant outdoors and that only a few containers produce a majority of the pupae. Although the numbers were lower, productive habitats were detected within households. Targeting source reduction efforts towards these productive containers both inside and outside homes is likely to be a cost-effective way to reduce arboviral transmission in these regions.
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