Date Published: May 20, 2019
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): André B. B. Wilke, Chalmers Vasquez, William Petrie, John C. Beier, John Vontas.
Human mobility in urban environments is a central part of urbanization and has determined the layout of how cities are projected, built and renovated. One of the most problematic issues of urbanization is how to properly dispose of used tires, considering the worldwide annual production of approximately 1.4 billion units every year. Despite the efforts to properly dispose of used tires, they still represent a major problem for public health, notably serving as potential breeding sites for vector mosquitoes. Miami-Dade County, Florida has been suffering from arbovirus outbreaks for decades, including dengue, West Nile and yellow fever viruses. The objective of this study was to survey tire shops inserted in the urban matrix across Miami-Dade County for the presence of vector mosquitoes. This study used a cross-sectional design to survey the production of vector mosquitoes at 12 tires shops. Mosquitoes were found in all but one of the tires shops surveyed. We collected a total of 1,110 mosquitoes comprising 528 adults and 582 immatures. Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus were abundantly found in both their immature and adult forms, constituting 99.99% of the mosquito samples collected. Aedes aegypti was the most abundant species recorded displaying the highest values in the Shannon and Simpson indices. The findings of this study demonstrate that vector mosquitoes, primarily Ae. aegypti, are being produced in tires shops in Miami indicating these habitats are highly favorable breeding environments for the production of vector mosquitoes and emphasizing the need to address how the abundance and presence of mosquitoes may vary seasonally in these environments.
Anthropogenic alterations in the environment often promote a non-random biotic homogenization of species, favoring in the process species which are capable of enduring urban environmental conditions and may associate with human activities [1–3].
Mosquitoes were found in all but one of the 12 tires shops surveyed in this study. We collected a total of 1,110 mosquitoes comprising of 528 adults and 582 immatures, distributed among Ae. albopictus, Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus. Only five adult Aedes albopictus were collected in tire shops during this study and no immature was found breeding on tires. On the other hand, Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus were abundantly found in both their immature and adult form, comprising 99.99% of the mosquito assembly collected at tires shops.
This study indicated that Ae. aegypti is the most abundant species breeding at tires shops in Miami-Dade County. Aedes aegypti immature and adult mosquitoes were collected in all tire shops apart from one. Although adult mosquitoes collected at the tires shops could have emerged from a number of other sources within the community the detection of pupae clearly indicates efficient production of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes in these environments as the presence of pupae in a given breeding site can be used as a proxy for estimating adult mosquito production .
The main findings of this study demonstrate that vector mosquitoes, primarily Ae. aegypti, are being produced at tire shops in Miami-Dade County. Such findings suggest that tire shops have a significant role in the production of vector mosquitoes in Miami and that more studies are needed to address how the abundance and presence of mosquitoes may vary seasonally in these environments in light of mosquito and disease control.