The global emergence of Dengue virus (DENV), Chikunguyna virus (CHIKV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) demonstrate the ability of mosquito-borne viruses to spread around the world and result in significant public health burden. These viruses are maintained in urban transmission cycles and the ability of the virus to persist depends on the ecological receptivity of the environment that depends largely on the frequency of mosquito-human contact. Additionally, the ability of a community-based intervention with engaged citizens activity participating in integrated mosquito management is determined by cultural and socioeconomic factors. These social-ecological factors that modulate mosquito-borne viral risk and efficacy of management have not been fully appreciated or addressed in the continental United States. Our central hypothesis is that different communities vary starkly in their ecological receptivity to transmission and capacity to respond to outbreaks as a result of social factors. This hypothesis will be tested by the following Specific Aims: 1) quantify indoor and outdoor mosquito species presence and abundance and identify risk factors associated with indoor mosquito populations, 2) evaluate the efficacy of the CDC Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap (AGO)-based vector control on mosquito abundance across communities and between different vector species (Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, Culex quinquefasciatus), 3) identify factors that predict community participation in citizen science campaigns and acquiescence to implement vector control strategies. This study will occur in eight communities in South Texas (Hidalgo and Cameron Counties) using a paired plot experimental design. We will monitor adult mosquito abundance using a novel application of a sugar bait station that determines the species and relative abundance of the primary mosquito vector species. This new sampling strategy will be compared to the Sentinel AGO trap, which is an established tool to monitor adult mosquito abundance. The expected outcomes include 1) a better assessment of the emergence risk for viruses like ZIKV and CHIKV that are amplified in a human-mosquito cycles in U.S. communities, 2) a critical assessment of indoor exposure risk in U.S. communities, and 3) determining the necessity to adapt disease management strategies to specific social-ecological factors endemic to local communities. This research addresses the need for diverse mitigation strategies that should be employed across landscape mosaics of different communities of variable socioeconomic levels that present distinct challenges to limit vector-borne disease transmission. Ultimately, the research is expected to have a positive translational impact on the development of integrated mitigation strategies that effectively engage local communities for rapid response to emerging viral threats.
The emergence of Zika virus is a significant public health threat given likely links to pregnancy complications, Guillian-Barre syndrome, and other forms of morbidity. The most likely locations for local transmission to occur in the continental United States are localities where Dengue virus has been endemic, which includes the Texas-Mexico border communities. Our project will address the risk of Zika virus emergence in South Texas communities in the context of the area's ecological receptivity to viral transmission and the community's capacity to be engaged in mosquito monitoring and control programs.