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The role of anthropogenic container habitats as mosquito oviposition habitats in rural settlements in northern Tanzania

Gordian Rocky Mataba, Linus Munishi, Luc Brendonck, Bram Vanschoenwinkel
Published: 5 April 2022

Abstract: In many areas, the main sources of mosquito vectors are not natural habitats but small artificial water bodies that are provided unintentionally by humans. Such container habitats have been linked to outbreaks of dengue fever and other arboviral diseases. However, in many parts of the world the possible risks associated with container habitats have not been assessed. Here, we focused on a human population expansion area in northern Tanzania with a high incidence of dengue and other cases of high fever. We explored the importance of anthropogenic container habitats for mosquito production in the Lake Manyara Basin. We also assessed how biotic and physicochemical habitat characteristics limit mosquito abundance in containers. Results showed that Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus), vector of dengue and other arboviruses, and Culex quinquefasciatus (Say), vector of filarial worms, were the dominant mosquitoes ovipositing in large numbers in different containers. Old tires were the dominant and most productive container habitat for mosquitoes in the region. However, there were strong differences among villages, illustrating that the mosquito burden associated with container habitats varies locally. We concluded that in this region, removal of artificial container habitats could be a simple strategy to reduce the mosquito-mediated disease burden within the local population.
Keywords: habitat for mosquitoes / ovipositing / mosquito oviposition / container habitats for mosquito / dengue / artificial

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