Modeling the spatial distribution of mosquito vectors for West Nile virus in Connecticut, USA

Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Maria A Diuk-WasserDurland Fish

Abstract

The risk of transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) to humans is associated with the density of infected vector mosquitoes in a given area. Current technology for estimating vector distribution and abundance is primarily based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light trap collections, which provide only point data. In order to estimate mosquito abundance in areas not sampled by traps, we developed logistic regression models for five mosquito species implicated as the most likely vectors of WNV in Connecticut. Using data from 32 traps in Fairfield County from 2001 to 2003, the models were developed to predict high and low abundance for every 30 x 30 m pixel in the County. They were then tested with an independent dataset from 16 traps in adjacent New Haven County. Environmental predictors of abundance were extracted from remotely sensed data. The best predictive models included non-forested areas for Culex pipiens, surface water and distance to estuaries for Cx. salinarius, surface water and grasslands/agriculture for Aedes vexans and seasonal difference in the normalized difference vegetation index and distance to palustrine habitats for Culiseta melanura. No significant predictors were found for Cx. restuans. Th...Continue Reading

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