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Modelling the control of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes based on sterile males release techniques in a tropical environment

Haramboure M., Labbe P., Baldet T., Damiens D., Gouagna L.C., Bouyer J., Tran A.. 2020. Ecological Modelling, 420 : 22 p..

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2020.109002

The Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), used to control insect populations, consists of releasing males sterilized by ionizing radiations. Wild females that mate with these males can no longer produce viable offspring, which may drives the population decline. Although this method has proved its efficiency, its effect may be more limited for fast-reproducing large-population species, such Aedes albopictus. A novel approach, named ¿boosted SIT¿ has been designed to strengthen the SIT technique: It consists of coating sterile males with a biocide that will be transferred to the mated females, which will then contaminate the oviposition sites. This study is aimed at exploring demographic effects of both techniques (SIT and boosted SIT) through their inclusion in a weather-driven abundance model of the Aedes albopictus population dynamics in the geographical context of La Reunion Island. Sensitivity analysis showed that the date to start the release, as well as the quantity of sterile males released and their competitiveness, are of key importance for both control methods. According to our results, boosted SIT allows 1) Increasing the effectiveness of the SIT when the sterile males released are of medium quality in terms of competitiveness, and 2) extending the optimal window to start the control period.

Mots-clés : contrôle de maladies; vecteur de maladie; dynamique des populations; zone tropicale; lâcher d'insectes stériles; aedes albopictus; réunion; pyriproxifène; modélisation

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