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A tale of two city blocks: differences in immature and adult mosquito abundances between socioeconomically different urban blocks in Baltimore (Maryland, USA).

Becker B, Leisnham PT, LaDeau SL - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2014)

Bottom Line: We hypothesized that abundant garbage associated with infrastructure degradation would support greater mosquito production but instead, found more mosquito larvae and host-seeking adults (86%) in parcels across the higher socio-economic, low-decay block.Containers associated with human residence were more likely to hold water and contain immature mosquitoes.This study suggests that residents living in higher socioeconomic areas with low urban decay may be at greater risk of mosquito-borne disease during peak mosquito production when local container habitats are effectively decoupled from environmental constraints.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 2801 Sharon Turnpike, Millbrook, NY 12545, USA. brianbecker2000@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
Infrastructure degradation in many post-industrial cities has increased the availability of potential mosquito habitats, including container habitats that support infestations of invasive disease-vectors. This study is unique in examining both immature and adult mosquito abundance across the fine-scale variability in socio-economic condition that occurs block-to-block in many cities. We hypothesized that abundant garbage associated with infrastructure degradation would support greater mosquito production but instead, found more mosquito larvae and host-seeking adults (86%) in parcels across the higher socio-economic, low-decay block. Aedes albopictus and Culex pipiens were 5.61 (p < 0.001) and 4.60 (p = 0.001) times more abundant, respectively. Most discarded (garbage) containers were dry during peak mosquito production, which occurred during the 5th hottest July on record. Containers associated with human residence were more likely to hold water and contain immature mosquitoes. We propose that mosquito production switches from rain-fed unmanaged containers early in the season to container habitats that are purposefully shaded or watered by mid-season. This study suggests that residents living in higher socioeconomic areas with low urban decay may be at greater risk of mosquito-borne disease during peak mosquito production when local container habitats are effectively decoupled from environmental constraints.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Degraded infrastructure in Baltimore, MD. Source: S. LaDeau.
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ijerph-11-03256-f001: Degraded infrastructure in Baltimore, MD. Source: S. LaDeau.

Mentions: Vegetation, abundance of water-filled containers, and proximity to standing water have all been associated with the distribution and abundance of vector species [30,33,42,43]. Adult mosquitoesrequire access to vegetation for food and resting sites, aquatic habitats for developmental stages (eggs and larvae), and host blood meals. However, ecological processes occurring at early developmental life-stages likely play a primary role in regulating the distribution and abundance of adult mosquitoes [44,45]. The rate of immature development and pupation depends on abiotic conditions (e.g., water quality, temperature), biotic processes (e.g., microbial food resources, competition, predation) and their interactions [45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54]. Habitat that supports both immature development and adult mosquito populations is likely heterogeneous across an urban landscape but remains understudied [55,56]. Vegetation cover, container habitat, and densities of both predators and host species can vary between neighborhoods [16,33,57]. The quality and abundance of individual container habitats or adult resting sites vary at even finer spatial scales [30,58,59]. Previous studies have found both positive and negative associations among suitable mosquito habitat, mosquito abundance, and neighborhood socio-economic status [14,16,30,59,60,61,62,63,64]. However, few studies have gone beyond income to examine the specific associations between the physical symptoms of urban poverty and the abundance of blood-seeking adult mosquitoes [61]. Symptoms of physical disrepair such as holes, water damage, peeling paint, and garbage accumulation have been associated with the presence and abundance of indoor pests [65,66]. However, the specific importance of infrastructure deterioration for maintaining mosquito infestations is not well understood. Vacant buildings are increasingly abundant in many U.S. cities and when abandoned, the associated physical disrepair may indicate increased mosquito habitat (e.g., Figure 1). Degraded structures are often associated with unmanaged and semi-permanent garbage collections that can hold water, facilitate immature mosquito development [16] and increased production of biting adults.


A tale of two city blocks: differences in immature and adult mosquito abundances between socioeconomically different urban blocks in Baltimore (Maryland, USA).

Becker B, Leisnham PT, LaDeau SL - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2014)

Degraded infrastructure in Baltimore, MD. Source: S. LaDeau.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3987033&req=5

ijerph-11-03256-f001: Degraded infrastructure in Baltimore, MD. Source: S. LaDeau.
Mentions: Vegetation, abundance of water-filled containers, and proximity to standing water have all been associated with the distribution and abundance of vector species [30,33,42,43]. Adult mosquitoesrequire access to vegetation for food and resting sites, aquatic habitats for developmental stages (eggs and larvae), and host blood meals. However, ecological processes occurring at early developmental life-stages likely play a primary role in regulating the distribution and abundance of adult mosquitoes [44,45]. The rate of immature development and pupation depends on abiotic conditions (e.g., water quality, temperature), biotic processes (e.g., microbial food resources, competition, predation) and their interactions [45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54]. Habitat that supports both immature development and adult mosquito populations is likely heterogeneous across an urban landscape but remains understudied [55,56]. Vegetation cover, container habitat, and densities of both predators and host species can vary between neighborhoods [16,33,57]. The quality and abundance of individual container habitats or adult resting sites vary at even finer spatial scales [30,58,59]. Previous studies have found both positive and negative associations among suitable mosquito habitat, mosquito abundance, and neighborhood socio-economic status [14,16,30,59,60,61,62,63,64]. However, few studies have gone beyond income to examine the specific associations between the physical symptoms of urban poverty and the abundance of blood-seeking adult mosquitoes [61]. Symptoms of physical disrepair such as holes, water damage, peeling paint, and garbage accumulation have been associated with the presence and abundance of indoor pests [65,66]. However, the specific importance of infrastructure deterioration for maintaining mosquito infestations is not well understood. Vacant buildings are increasingly abundant in many U.S. cities and when abandoned, the associated physical disrepair may indicate increased mosquito habitat (e.g., Figure 1). Degraded structures are often associated with unmanaged and semi-permanent garbage collections that can hold water, facilitate immature mosquito development [16] and increased production of biting adults.

Bottom Line: We hypothesized that abundant garbage associated with infrastructure degradation would support greater mosquito production but instead, found more mosquito larvae and host-seeking adults (86%) in parcels across the higher socio-economic, low-decay block.Containers associated with human residence were more likely to hold water and contain immature mosquitoes.This study suggests that residents living in higher socioeconomic areas with low urban decay may be at greater risk of mosquito-borne disease during peak mosquito production when local container habitats are effectively decoupled from environmental constraints.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 2801 Sharon Turnpike, Millbrook, NY 12545, USA. brianbecker2000@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
Infrastructure degradation in many post-industrial cities has increased the availability of potential mosquito habitats, including container habitats that support infestations of invasive disease-vectors. This study is unique in examining both immature and adult mosquito abundance across the fine-scale variability in socio-economic condition that occurs block-to-block in many cities. We hypothesized that abundant garbage associated with infrastructure degradation would support greater mosquito production but instead, found more mosquito larvae and host-seeking adults (86%) in parcels across the higher socio-economic, low-decay block. Aedes albopictus and Culex pipiens were 5.61 (p < 0.001) and 4.60 (p = 0.001) times more abundant, respectively. Most discarded (garbage) containers were dry during peak mosquito production, which occurred during the 5th hottest July on record. Containers associated with human residence were more likely to hold water and contain immature mosquitoes. We propose that mosquito production switches from rain-fed unmanaged containers early in the season to container habitats that are purposefully shaded or watered by mid-season. This study suggests that residents living in higher socioeconomic areas with low urban decay may be at greater risk of mosquito-borne disease during peak mosquito production when local container habitats are effectively decoupled from environmental constraints.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus