March 15, 2013
2 min read

Novel mosquito control system saved $9 million annually

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A novel system for mosquito control resulted in significant costs savings by preventing more than 27,000 cases of dengue fever in Brazil, researchers reported in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The vector surveillance and control system, Intelligent Dengue Monitoring System, was implemented in 21 cities in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The system uses fixed-position traps that capture gravid mosquitoes and monitors the weekly count and infection status of the mosquitoes. The data are transmitted to control personnel that then target the highly infested areas. The system was implemented from April 2009 to June 2011.

“The current system for vector surveillance in Brazil and other countries uses larvae surveillance methods and house-to-house visits to try to understand the mosquito population,” Alvaro Eiras, PhD, professor at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil, told Infectious Disease News. “This methodology is limited because it can only be performed about three to five times a year and it takes about 1 to 3 months to analyze the results. This system is able to provide more accurate and timely information about the dengue mosquito vector, resulting in more efficient and effective control that is concentrated on areas with elevated mosquito populations.

Alvaro Eiras, PhD 

Alvaro Eiras

The estimated number of cases prevented annually by using Intelligent Dengue Monitoring System was 27,191. The average cost-effectiveness was $227 per case prevented. Preventing these cases led to a total savings of nearly $9 million annually. Savings in health care and vector control costs was $364,517. There also was a savings of $7,138,940 in lost wages.

“The study results are unique and very encouraging,” Eiras said. “We demonstrate for the first time that a vector monitoring system is an effective tool for dengue prevention cost-benefit that could be widely adapted in Brazil and worldwide. Furthermore, the study sheds light on what types of cities would benefit the most from the system: cities with a population of more than 35,000 had the most benefit, suggesting that the system is most cost-effective in cities with large, high-density populations.”

Eiras said that the technology can also be used to target other mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus, with small modifications. He said that it will be necessary to further investigate the system combined with other technologically-advanced mosquito control actions and strategies.

Disclosure: The Intelligent Dengue Monitoring System was developed with the financial support of FINEP, CNPq, FAPEMIG and SEBRAE.