Analysis of Aedes aegypti Hotspots and Hot Zones in Two Neighborhoods of Santo Domingo, Ecuador
Location: Santo Domingo, Ecuador
Alumni: Michael Prough
Faculty: Alex Perkins
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthropod-transmitted virus spread by Aedes mosquitoes with no cure and few treatment options. Due to a recent mutation, it now has potential to spread to new areas, such as Ecuador, likely resulting in massive epidemics. Vector surveillance and control plays an important role in preventing such epidemics, and statistical analyses and mathematical modeling show promise in predicting spatial patterns of vector populations. This five-week field study mapped and analyzed populations of adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in two neighborhoods of Santo Domingo, Ecuador. During this time period, two surveys were conducted in each neighborhood in order to compare the spatial distribution of vector populations at two time points. Local Getis hotspot analysis was used to determine locations of hotspots and hot zones, hotspots being houses with more mosquitoes than expected given the spatial distribution of houses and hot zones being those areas in which hotspots are likely to be found. Hotspots were not usually temporally stable, whereas hot zones were shown to be more temporally stable. This analysis shows potential as a predictive tool for vector populations on fine spatial and temporal scales to inform vector surveillance and control.