Association Between Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti in Shared Breeding Habitat in Penang Island

Nur Aida H1, Abu Hassan A1, Anita T2 and Farida A1

1School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Penang. 2School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Penang. 3School of Veterinary Medicine, Syiah Kuala University, Darussalam, Banda Aceh, Indonesia.Corresponding Author: nuraida203@yahoo.com

Abstract

The occurrence of major outbreaks of dengueand dengue hemorrhagic fever in the tropical and subtropicalregions have made the control of this disease a top-priority formany public health authorities including in Malaysia. In the absence of an effective dengue vaccine, efforts have focused on the control of the mosquito vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus throughout reduction of breeding sites and application of insecticidesto kill immature forms and adults.The association between Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti in Penang Island was described given that any measure taken against one species may affect the other. Yearlong larval/ pupal surveys were conducted in four dengue endemic areas of Penang Island.The method of Fager was used to explain the independence or association of the two species. The proportion of individuals occurring together was calculated using Sorensen’s coefficient Index. Shared breeding between Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti was very low (only found in 57 (3.8%) out of 1506 containers. The findings of this study revealed that the distribution Ae. albopictus containers depend on the presence or absence of Ae. aegypti containers in term of negative association. However, using Sorenson’s accociation coefficient, all locations showed no association betwen the immature of the two species in the same container. The mean immmature densities of Ae. albopictus was not decreased in the presence of Ae. aegypti. Therefore the association between Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in Penang Island was only in terms of breeding habitat availability. It was suggested that Aedes aegypti prefers to breed in habitats which is not occupied by Aedes albopictus. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus will only share habitats if available habitats are limited.  It could also be due to opportunistics option for both species, especially Ae. albopictus which is able to adapt to wide variety of indoor and outdoor.For control efforts, eliminating one species prefered containers will not effect/reduce the other species. In the other words, eliminating  the outdoor containers only which were prefered by Ae. albopictus will not simultaneously reduce Ae. aegypti population which prefered indoor containers as their breeding habitats.

Keywords: Aedes, association, shared breeding habitat

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