Dengue in Java, Indonesia: relevance of mosquito indices as risk predictors

No vaccine is currently available for dengue virus (DENV), therefore control programmes usually focus on managing mosquito vector populations. Entomological surveys provide the most common means of characterising vector populations and predicting the risk of local dengue virus transmission. Despite Indonesia being a country strongly affected by DENV, only limited information is available on the local factors affecting DENV transmission and the suitability of available survey methods for assessing risk. We conducted entomological surveys in the Banyumas Regency (Central Java) where dengue cases occur on an annual basis. Four villages were sampled during the dry and rainy seasons: two villages where dengue was endemic, one where dengue cases occurred sporadically and one which was dengue-free. In addition to data for conventional larvae indices, we collected data on pupae indices, and collected adult mosquitoes for species identification in order to determine mosquito species composition and population density. Traditionally used larval indices (House indices, Container indices and Breteau indices) were found to be inadequate as indicators for DENV transmission risk. In contrast, species composition of adult mosquitoes revealed that competent vector species were dominant in dengue endemic and sporadic villages. Our data suggested that the utility of traditional larvae indices, which continue to be used in many dengue endemic countries, should be re-evaluated locally. The results highlight the need for validation of risk indicators and control strategies across DENV affected areas here and perhaps elsewhere in SE Asia.

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