The urban container-breeding mosquitoes Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti are vectors for deadly and debilitating diseases such as dengue and Chikungunya. There is no known vaccine or treatment for either disease;mosquito control is the only effective means of preventing and managing outbreaks. But container species are difficult to manage using conventional vector control technologies due to their numerous small, cryptic habitats. Autodissemination - wherein female mosquitoes contaminated with the low-risk insect growth regulator pyriproxyfen transport lethal concentrations to additional larval habitats offers the promise of effective, economic and environmentally friendly control for these species. In Phase I, collaborative efforts between SpringStar and the Rutgers University, an autodissemination station has been developed and refined for Ae. albopictus. The station was highly effective in cage and room studies at attracting and contaminating oviposition-seeking females, and releasing lethal concentrations of pyriproxyfen into subsequent containers visited. The Phase I station prototype has high attraction, exclusion from oviposition, unidirectional design, specialized formulations, extended activity, and is maintenance-free, biodegradable, user-friendly and low-risk. Phase II testing will extend the concept to Ae. aegypti, assess the effect of field variables on station efficacy, assess field deployment on localized mosquito populations in cryptic habitats, and modify non-essential portions of the station to yield a low-cost product. Prototype stations will be tested in field and semi-field conditions to determine how far the pyriproxyfen can be disseminated, how well it reaches cryptic habitats, and the impact of competing site abundance, size, and water quality. Cage and room tests will determine effectiveness of the current design against Ae. aegypti, evaluate alternate oviposition attractants against both Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti, and assess the effect of our formulations on adult longevity, fecundity, and fertility. Crucial field trials will center on replicated focal points ofhigh mosquito activity ('hot spots'). Field- stored units will be tested over time for structural stabilty, efficacy duration, and biodegradation. The prototype will be modified as necessary to achieve optimal efficacy, cost, and versatility. The final design resulting at the end of this phase will b suitable for large-scale production.
The proposed research will evaluate a simple, low-to-no maintenance device with high potential to control populations of container-breeding mosquitoes worldwide, thereby lessening a global disease threat and outdoor nuisance. This device will provide a novel and highly effective means to target the primary vectors of dengue fever, Chikungunya and West Nile Virus and be suitable for cost-effective use around the globe with minimal risk to human beings, non-target animals or the surrounding environment.