Aedes aegypti Control in the Lao People's Democratic Republic, with Reference to Copepods

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  • Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Vientiane Municipality Health Service, Herston, Brisbane, Australia

An evaluation of the Lao Aedes aegypti control program and of the predatory abilities of copepods from Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic was undertaken before a field release of copepods in Thongkankam village, Vientiane. Copepods were transported to Australia for evaluation of predatory abilities and their survival under various nutrient and pH conditions. Mesocyclops guangxiensis was chosen for release over M. aspericornis due to its higher reproduction rate and its ability to survive in lower nutrient environments. Mesocyclops guangxiensis was released into 142 containers and 20 wells in a village in Vientiane. Copepods were present in 7% of the containers after one month and were absent six months postinoculation. In comparison, 100% of wells were still positive after six months, with average numbers of Ae. aegypti in the wells decreasing from 59.5 ± 18.5 (± SEM) to 0 after six months. Numbers of Culex quinquefasciatus and Anopheles maculatus also decreased to 0 after six months. This study indicates that predacious copepods will be accepted by the community and could be integrated as a low-cost, persistent control agent into new strategies for improving surveillance and control of dengue vectors.