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The Impact of Adulticide on Culex Abundance and Infection Rate in North Shore of Cook County, IllinoisABSTRACT Mosquito surveillance is critical to reduce the risk of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission to humans. In response to surveillance indicators such as elevated mosquito abundance or increased WNV levels, many mosquito control programs will perform truck-mounted ultra-low volume (ULV) adulticide application to reduce the number of mosquitoes and associated virus transmission. Despite the common use of truck-based ULV adulticiding as a public health measure to reduce WNV prevalence, limited evidence exists to support a role in reducing viral transmission to humans. We use a generalized additive and fused ridge regression model to quantify the location-specific impact of truck-mounted ULV adulticide spray efforts from 2010 to 2018 in the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) in metropolitan Chicago, IL, on commonly assessed risk factors from NSMAD surveillance gravid traps: Culex abundance, infection rate, and vector index. Our model also takes into account environmental variables commonly associated with WNV, including temperature, precipitation, wind speed, location, and week of year. Since it is unlikely ULV adulticide spraying will have the same impact at each trap location, we use a spatially varying spray effect with a fused ridge penalty to determine how the effect varies by trap location. We found that ULVmore »
Relative Influence of Land Use, Mosquito Abundance, and Bird Communities in Defining West Nile Virus Infection Rates in Culex Mosquito PopulationsSince its introduction to North America in 1999, the West Nile virus (WNV) has resulted in over 50,000 human cases and 2400 deaths. WNV transmission is maintained via mosquito vectors and avian reservoir hosts, yet mosquito and avian infections are not uniform across ecological landscapes. As a result, it remains unclear whether the ecological communities of the vectors or reservoir hosts are more predictive of zoonotic risk at the microhabitat level. We examined this question in central Iowa, representative of the midwestern United States, across a land use gradient consisting of suburban interfaces with natural and agricultural habitats. At eight sites, we captured mosquito abundance data using New Jersey light traps and monitored bird communities using visual and auditory point count surveys. We found that the mosquito minimum infection rate (MIR) was better predicted by metrics of the mosquito community than metrics of the bird community, where sites with higher proportions of Culex pipiens group mosquitoes during late summer (after late July) showed higher MIRs. Bird community metrics did not significantly influence mosquito MIRs across sites. Together, these data suggest that the microhabitat suitability of Culex vector species is of greater importance than avian community composition in driving WNV infectionmore »
1. Understanding the factors underlying the abundance and distribution of species requires the consideration of a complex suite of interacting biotic and abiotic factors operating on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Larval mosquitoes inhabiting small human‐constructed ponds represent a unique opportunity to investigate the relative importance of these structuring mechanisms while simultaneously generating applied knowledge on mosquito control.
2. A multi‐year field survey of 32 stormwater ponds was conducted in central Illinois (Champaign County). From each pond, data were collected on pond structure type and hydroperiod, the presence/absence of cattails (
Typhaspp.), and measures of total nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon, and chlorophyll a. The communities of crustacean zooplankton and aquatic insects were characterised, and these taxa were assigned into two main groups: predators and competitors of larval mosquitoes. Structural equation modelling was used to explore the direct and indirect effects of these biotic and abiotic factors on larval density for three species of culicine mosquitoes ( Culex pipiens, Culex restuans, and Aedes vexans).
3. Hydroperiod had an indirect negative effect on
C. pipiensdensity. However, this effect was mediated by predator density; more permanent ponds had more predators, which therefore reduced the density of C. pipienslarvae. Aedes vexansdensity was positively correlated with predator density. No predictor variables weremore »
4. This study show that the relative importance of these biotic and abiotic factors varies among species of culicine mosquitoes inhabiting stormwater ponds.
Abstract Urban rats are widely distributed pests that have negative effects on public health and property. It is crucial to understand their distribution to inform control efforts and address drivers of rat presence. Analysing public rat complaints can help assess urban rat distribution and identify factors supporting rat populations. Both social and environmental factors could promote rat complaints and must be integrated to understand rat distributions. We analysed rat complaints made between 2011 and 2017 in Chicago, a city with growing rat problems and stark wealth inequality. We examined whether rat complaints at the census tract level are associated with factors that could influence rat abundance, rats’ visibility to humans, and the likelihood of people making a complaint. Complaints were significantly positively correlated with anthropogenic factors hypothesized to promote rat abundance (restaurants, older buildings, garbage complaints, and dog waste complaints) or rat visibility (building construction/demolition activity), and factors hypothesized to increase the likelihood of complaining (human population density, more owner-occupied homes); we also found that complaints were highest in the summer. Our results suggest that conflicts between residents and rats are mainly driven by seasonal variation in rat abundance and human activity and could be mitigated with strategies such asmore »
Dynamics of data availability in disease modeling: An example evaluating the trade-offs of ultra-fine-scale factors applied to human West Nile virus disease models in the Chicago area, USAWen, Feng (Ed.)Background Since 1999, West Nile virus (WNV) has moved rapidly across the United States, resulting in tens of thousands of human cases. Both the number of human cases and the minimum infection rate (MIR) in vector mosquitoes vary across time and space and are driven by numerous abiotic and biotic forces, ranging from differences in microclimates to socio-demographic factors. Because the interactions among these multiple factors affect the locally variable risk of WNV illness, it has been especially difficult to model human disease risk across varying spatial and temporal scales. Cook and DuPage Counties, comprising the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs, experience some of the highest numbers of human neuroinvasive cases of WNV in the United States. Despite active mosquito control efforts, there is consistent annual WNV presence, resulting in more than 285 confirmed WNV human cases and 20 deaths from the years 2014–2018 in Cook County alone. Methods A previous Chicago-area WNV model identified the fifty-five most high and low risk locations in the Northwest Mosquito Abatement District (NWMAD), an enclave ¼ the size of the combined Cook and DuPage county area. In these locations, human WNV risk was stratified by model performance, as indicated by differences inmore »