Heterogeneity of Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) Control Community Size, Research Productivity, and Arboviral Diseases Across the United States.
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Multiple factors lead to extensive variation in mosquito and mosquito-borne virus control programs throughout the United States. This variation is related to differences in budgets, number of personnel, operational activities targeting nuisance or vector species, integration of Geographical Information Systems, and the degree of research and development to improve management interventions through collaboration with academic institutions. To highlight this heterogeneity, the current study evaluates associations among the size of a mosquito control community, the research productivity, and the mosquito-borne virus human disease burden among states within the continental United States. I used the attendance at state mosquito and vector control meetings as a proxy for the size of the mosquito control community in each state. To judge research productivity, I used all peer-reviewed publications on mosquitoes and mosquito-borne viruses using data originating in each state over a 5- and 20-yr period. Total neuroinvasive human disease cases caused by mosquito-borne viruses were aggregated for each state. These data were compared directly and after adjusting for differences in human population size for each state. Results revealed that mean meeting attendance was positively correlated with the number of publications in each state, but not after correcting for the size of the population in each state. Additionally, human disease cases were positively correlated with the number of publications in each state. Finally, mean meeting attendance and human disease cases were only marginally positively associated, and no correlation existed after correcting for human population size. These analyses indicated that the mosquito control community size, research productivity, and mosquito-borne viral human disease burden varied greatly among states. The mechanisms resulting in this variation were discussed and the consequences of this variation are important given the constantly changing environment due to invasive mosquito species and arboviruses, urbanization, immigration, global travel, and climate change.
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