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Grantee Research Project Results

NCER Grantee Research Project Results

Examination Of Vectorial Capacity For Mosquitoes Associated With Urban Stormwater Catch Basins

EPA Grant Number: F5D30778
Title: Examination Of Vectorial Capacity For Mosquitoes Associated With Urban Stormwater Catch Basins
Investigators: Townzen, Jill S.
Institution: Oregon State University
EPA Project Officer: Zambrana, Jose
Project Period: September 1, 2005 through August 31, 2008
Project Amount: $109,880
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2005)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships

Description:

Objective:

This project will examine the impact of stormwater catch basins on mosquito-borne disease transmission parameters by testing two hypotheses. First, mosquitoes associated with catch basins are potential vectors of mosquito-borne disease to humans in urban areas and second, that mosquitoes associated with catch basins are produced in high enough numbers to affect vectorial capacity. The study site for this project is Corvallis, Oregon. This study will provide baseline data on mosquitoes associated with stormwater catch basins for use in other areas of the Pacific Northwest and North America and aid in developing new techniques for studying insect vector populations.

My Study will examine potential vectors of mosquito-borne disease and assess changes in population dynamics associated with the installation of stormwater catch basins in urban areas. The two objectives are:

  1. Develop an anthropophilic index for Culex pipiens and Culex stigmatosoma using molecular techniques
  2. Develop a model to examine changes in vectorial capacity based on the available mosquito population.

Approach:

To test the hypothesis that Cx. pipiens and Cx. stigmatosoma are potential vectors of mosquito-borne disease we will develop an anthropophilic index for mosquitoes collected in association with catch basins using modern molecular techniques. Cytochrome b (CytB) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) regions of mitochondrial DNA will be sequenced and used to identify mosquito bloodmeals to species. The anthropophilic index will be calculated for the putative vectors associated with catch basins to determine their potential role in transmission of a vector-borne disease to humans. The anthropophilic index for urban mosquitoes will be compared to rural mosquitoes to determine the role of host availability in mosquito diet.

The hypothesis that mosquitoes in urban catch basins are produced in high enough numbers to affect vectorial capacity will be tested by sampling larvae in the catch basins and an estimating the size of the population. This data will then be used to establish vectorial capacity models to determine their influence on disease transmission. This can further be applied to model the effectiveness of current control strategies. Catch basins in the City of Corvallis, Oregon, will be randomly sampled for mosquito larvae at different times during the ovipositioning season to estimate the population size. Corvallis is an ideal location to conduct this survey because mosquitoes are not currently being controlled in the city so the population is not artificially suppressed. Within the city there are over 8000 catch basins with more continually being installed.

Expected Results:

I expect the increased availability of humans in urban and suburban area will be correlated with an increased anthropophilic index for the mosquitoes collected in association with catch basins. I also expect that the estimate for the mosquito population found in association with the catch basins will be large enough to affect the vectorial capacity model.

Supplemental Keywords:

Mosquito, Culex pipiens, Culex stigmatosoma, catch basin, stormwater, vectorial capacity, anthropophilic index, Cytochrome b and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I.,, RFA, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Monitoring/Modeling, environmental monitoring, insect vector populations, mosquito-bourne diseases, human exposue, urban stormwater catch basins, ecological risk

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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