Dispersal of Engineered Male Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes.
Winskill P., Carvalho DO., Capurro ML., Alphey L., Donnelly CA., McKemey AR.
BACKGROUND:Aedes aegypti, the principal vector of dengue fever, have been genetically engineered for use in a sterile insect control programme. To improve our understanding of the dispersal ecology of mosquitoes and to inform appropriate release strategies of 'genetically sterile' male Aedes aegypti detailed knowledge of the dispersal ability of the released insects is needed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:The dispersal ability of released 'genetically sterile' male Aedes aegypti at a field site in Brazil has been estimated. Dispersal kernels embedded within a generalized linear model framework were used to analyse data collected from three large scale mark release recapture studies. The methodology has been applied to previously published dispersal data to compare the dispersal ability of 'genetically sterile' male Aedes aegypti in contrasting environments. We parameterised dispersal kernels and estimated the mean distance travelled for insects in Brazil: 52.8 m (95% CI: 49.9 m, 56.8 m) and Malaysia: 58.0 m (95% CI: 51.1 m, 71.0 m). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Our results provide specific, detailed estimates of the dispersal characteristics of released 'genetically sterile' male Aedes aegypti in the field. The comparative analysis indicates that despite differing environments and recapture rates, key features of the insects' dispersal kernels are conserved across the two studies. The results can be used to inform both risk assessments and release programmes using 'genetically sterile' male Aedes aegypti.