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Landscape and anthropogenic factors associated with adult Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in small cities in the southern Great Plains

Sanders, Jordan D.
Talley, Justin L.
Frazier, Amy E.
Noden, Bruce H.
As mosquito-borne diseases are a growing human health concern in the United States, the distribution and potential arbovirus risk from container-breeding Aedes mosquitoes is understudied in the southern Great Plains. The aim of the study was to assess landscape and anthropogenic factors associated with encountering adult container-breeding mosquitoes in small cities in southern Oklahoma. Collections were carried out over a 10 week period from June to August 2017 along two geographical transects, each consisting of three cities, equally distant from the Red River/Texas border. Mosquitoes were collected weekly using two trap types along with data for 13 landscape, vegetation, and anthropogenic variables. After five rounds of collection, 6628 female mosquitoes were collected over 2110 trap-nights involving 242 commercial or residential sites in six cities. Of the mosquitoes collected, 80% consisted of container-breeding species: Aedes albopictus (72%), Culex pipiens complex (16%) and Aedes aegypti (8%). Regionally, Aedes aegypti was more likely present in cities closest to the Texas border while Ae. albopictus was spread throughout the region. In general, Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus were significantly more present in sites featuring no or low vegetation and residential sites. Variables associated with Ae. albopictus presence and abundance varied between cities and highlighted the urban nature of the species. The study highlighted the distribution of Ae. aegypti geographically and within the urban context, indicated potential habitat preferences of container-breeding mosquito species in small towns, and demonstrated the usefulness of Gravid Aedes traps (GAT) traps for monitoring Aedes populations in urban habitats in small cities.