The impact of sociodemographic factors on Aedes albopictus distribution and abundance in Atlanta, Georgia Open Access

Witter, Sarah (2016)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/nv935345j?locale=en
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Abstract

Since its invasion to the continental United States in 1985, Aedes albopictus has become a well-established nuisance mosquito in many states. This mosquito breeds in both artificial and natural containers resulting in a distribution that is strongly influenced by humans. Although considered a secondary vector for numerous pathogens, recent arboviral outbreaks have caused its vector status to be reevaluated. Determining the sociodemographic factors which affect the distribution of this mosquito throughout distinct geographical locations is paramount in limiting future establishments of Ae. albopictus and preventing the transmission of pathogens.

A total of 142 houses were sampled across high, middle and low socioeconomic status neighborhoods in Atlanta, Georgia between July and August 2015. The study consisted of a questionnaire and a backyard entomological survey. Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn post-hoc tests were utilized to determine if differences existed between container types and the three neighborhoods. A simple linear regression was performed in order to determine the association between house value and several predictor variables. Finally, negative binomial generalized linear models with and without random effects were created in order to identify significant predictors of Ae. albopictus and container abundance across the three neighborhoods.

The median number of rubber containers differed significantly between the low house value neighborhood and the high and middle neighborhoods (p-value = <0.001 and p-value= <0.001, respectively). None of the simple linear regressions between house value and predictor variables yielded significant results; however, clear associations were present. The Akaike weight from the model which best accounted for number of mosquito positive containers was 35.3% with house value (∑ωi = 98.9%) being identified as one of the best predictors. Similarly, the Akaike weight from the model which best accounted for number of IV instar Ae. albopictus larvae was 41.5% with house value (∑ωi = 91.4%) being the best predictor in the final model.

The non-parametric tests and simple linear regressions suggest that house value does impact breeding site abundance and Ae. albopictus distribution. The multivariate hierarchical models supported the hypothesis that the distribution of Ae. albopictus larvae depends, at least in part, on sociodemographic factors.

Table of Contents

Introduction………….…………………………………………………1

Methods………………………………………………………………....8

Research Design………..……………………….....…...8

Survey Sites………………..………………………….…...8

Selection of Participants……..……………....…....8

Data Collection………………..…………………….……..9

Data Analysis Methods…………..……………….....11

Results……………………………………………..……………..…...14

Neighborhood Characteristi..………………........14

Entomological Characteristics………..…….......14

Species Information………..………………….........14

Container Characteristics….…..….…......…..….15

Container Analyses……………………………..…......16

House Value ..…………………………..……………......17

Model Results……………………………… …………......17

Discussion……………………………………………….………...…..19

Future Directions…..……………………….…………...……....25

Tables……………...……………………………...…….………….….34

Figures and Graphs..………………………….…………...…....41

Appendix A: Additional Tables…….……..……………………46

Appendix B: Additional Figures…………………….…......…51

Appendix C: Study Questionnaire…..…………….......….53

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