Integrated Vector Management as a Strategy for Reduced Disease Risk in a Newly Discovered Region of Dengue Fever in Africa

The LaBeaud lab currently has an NIH R01 grant that studies acute dengue and chikungunya infection and disease in Kenyan children and measures circulation of these infections in vectors at all life stages (eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults). The planned study will capitalize on this data by allowing us to link child seroprevalence information with the control interventions to enable measurement of changes in disease incidence as a result of our planned child and community interventions. The ongoing vector sampling in our R01 study will allow us to easily perform the planned vector assessments (pupal and larval surveys) and maintain the highly trained human capital that will allow accurate measurement of our primary study outcome (pupal productivity). This study will transform years of successful field work into child and community focused benefits that will promote improved integrated vector management using sustainable grass-roots methods, results that will matter greatly to the study participants.

Although the immediate benefits of this study will be for Kenyan children and their families, the methods employed will be generalizable to all children of the world, as children in Africa, Asia, and the Americas are all at risk for these infections. Although children are at greater risk for arboviral exposures than adults, previous surveys have rarely focused on this vulnerable population, yielding only imprecise estimates of disease burden among the pediatric (and general) population. CHIKV is now circulating in Florida and is likely to spread throughout the US. DENV has been circulating in Florida since 2009. The vectors for DENV and CHIKV have recently been identified locally in Hayward, Fresno and Menlo Park. Both mild and severe arboviral disease, including CHIKV, are known to cause chronic arthritic, neurologic and ocular sequelae in children. Cheap, sustainable methods of integrated vector management, as planned in this study, will be tested for their efficacy in preventing vector development and human virus exposure. Because there are no therapeutics or vaccines for these infections, vector control is the main strategy for prevention.

This project is funded by The Bechtel Faculty Scholar Fund and Stanford Child Health Research InstituteĀ  (CHRI).

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