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Spatially targeting Culex quinquefasciatus aquatic habitats on modified land cover for implementing an Integrated Vector Management (IVM) program in three villages within the Mwea Rice Scheme, Kenya

Author(s): Jacob Benjamin | Shililu Josephat | Muturi Ephantus | Mwangangi Joseph | Muriu Simon | Funes Jose | Githure John | Regens James | Novak Robert

Journal: International Journal of Health Geographics
ISSN 1476-072X

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 18;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Abstract Background Continuous land cover modification is an important part of spatial epidemiology because it can help identify environmental factors and Culex mosquitoes associated with arbovirus transmission and thus guide control intervention. The aim of this study was to determine whether remotely sensed data could be used to identify rice-related Culex quinquefasciatus breeding habitats in three rice-villages within the Mwea Rice Scheme, Kenya. We examined whether a land use land cover (LULC) classification based on two scenes, IKONOS at 4 m and Landsat Thematic Mapper at 30 m could be used to map different land uses and rice planted at different times (cohorts), and to infer which LULC change were correlated to high density Cx. quinquefasciatus aquatic habitats. We performed a maximum likelihood unsupervised classification in Erdas Imagine V8.7® and generated three land cover classifications, rice field, fallow and built environment. Differentially corrected global positioning systems (DGPS) ground coordinates of Cx. quinquefasciatus aquatic habitats were overlaid onto the LULC maps generated in ArcInfo 9.1®. Grid cells were stratified by levels of irrigation (well-irrigated and poorly-irrigated) and varied according to size of the paddy. Results Total LULC change between 1988–2005 was 42.1 % in Kangichiri, 52.8 % in Kiuria and and 50.6 % Rurumi. The most frequent LULC changes was rice field to fallow and fallow to rice field. The proportion of aquatic habitats positive for Culex larvae in LULC change sites was 77.5% in Kangichiri, 72.9% in Kiuria and 73.7% in Rurumi. Poorly – irrigated grid cells displayed 63.3% of aquatic habitats among all LULC change sites. Conclusion We demonstrate that optical remote sensing can identify rice cultivation LULC sites associated with high Culex oviposition. We argue that the regions of higher Culex abundance based on oviposition surveillance sites reflect underlying differences in abundance of larval habitats which is where limited control resources could be concentrated to reduce vector larval abundance.

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