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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Florida: Double Punch Interventions Control Dengue

New research published today in the journal PNAS predicts the most strategic combination of dengue control methods to drastically curtail, if not eliminate, dengue from the Mexican state of Yucatán. Interventions analyzed included two different vaccines and targeted indoor residual insecticide spraying.

The international team included Dr. Ira Longini, a a professor of biostatistics in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions and College of Medicine, and Dr. Tom Hladish, a research scientist in UF’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences biology department. Lead author Dr. Hladish, and senior author Dr. Longini, are both affiliated with UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute.

The team used 37 years of historical data on dengue in the Yucatán to create a model from which they tested how various combinations of vaccine and vector control measures would affect dengue incidence.

“In a disease system, you generally expect that when two interventions are stacked together, you will see a synergistic relationship that works even better than you’d expect from the performance of the individual interventions,” Dr. Hladish says. “We wanted to test which combination of dengue interventions work best, and see just how strong that synergy may be.”

Although insecticides are recognized as a vital dengue management tool, in the long run, they don’t pack enough punch.

“Insecticides can initially be very powerful,” Dr. Longini says, “But they tend to drop from 80 percent initial effectiveness to just 20 percent as the susceptibility to dengue builds up in the human population due to successful dengue control.”

But using indoor residual spraying in a targeted fashion, in combination with a vaccination campaign, could bolster the effects of each.

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