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Eradication of ae aegypti the dengue mosquito from the NT



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15 June 2009

Abstract: Aedes aegypti (L), has been absent from the NT for over 50 years until a brief establishment was eradicated by a 2 year program from Tennant Creek in 2006. This species was again discovered in October 2006, established on Groote Eylandt after detection in a routine ovitrap. An initial survey found 50 properties (11.7%) infested in the town of Alyangula. The principal receptacles infested were garden accoutrements 51 (plant trays, striking buckets), domestic/commercial use 29 (pet bowls) and discarded household items 22 (buckets). There were no rainwater tanks in the community and no infestation in telecommunication pits or the storm water system. An eradication program was started in the week after detection, with property inspections and residual insecticide and chlorine treatment of all receptacles, selected barrier spraying, combined with publicity programs and widespread surveys of other communities on Groote and the nearby mainland. Four rounds of inspections and spraying reduced the infestation to 1 positive property (0.2%) in June 2006. Three subsequent complete rounds of survey and treatment and a focused inspection program, combined with EVS trap and ovitrap surveillance over a entire wet season, indicated successful eradication. This is the second successful planned and documented eradication of this species in Australia, and an example of one of the very few receptive areas in the world able to maintain an Ae. aegypti free status of over 30 years by specific surveillance and rapid response programs. This approach validates the ability to maintain areas Ae. aegypti free after eradication programs.


Peter Whelan

Medical Entomology

Centre for Disease Control

Health Protection Division

NT Department of Health & Families