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Spatial distribution of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in relation to geo-ecological features in South Andaman, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

  • A.N. Shriram (a1), A. Sivan (a1) and A.P. Sugunan (a1)

The study was undertaken in South Andaman district, comprising three tehsils, viz. Port Blair, Ferrargunj and Little Andaman Tehsils, respectively. Intensive pupal infestation surveys were carried out along the National Highway (NH 223), the main passenger and trade route, referred to as Great Andaman Trunk Road. Sampling locations at every 3 km were geo-referenced with global positioning system unit. A total of 17314 water collections were examined from 29 locations across the South Andaman district, among which 1021 (5.9%) were colonized by immature stages of Aedes albopictus, Aedes aegypti and other mosquito species. Ae. aegypti were found in 12 locations, showing higher infestation in the densely built Aberdeen Bazaar. Breeding populations of Ae. albopictus were observed in 27 sampling locations. Both the species were not recorded in two Northern localities. In the areas where both the species are present, they were often found in the same developmental sites, suggesting convergent habitat selection. The most frequently encountered man-made, artificial and natural developmental sites were fixed cement tanks, plastic drums, plastic cans, metal drums, metal pots, discarded tires, coconut shells, leaf axils and tree holes. Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus were observed in varying proportions in Port Blair and Ferrargunj Tehsils, while the former species appeared to be absent in Little Andaman. This study elucidates the spatial distribution of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus with preponderance of the latter species, pointing towards arboviral transmission and assumes public health importance in South Andaman district, endemic for dengue.

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