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Is Perceived Exposure to Mosquitoes Associated with Actual Exposure? Results from Studies in High-Risk and Low-Risk Geographic Areas

Abstract : Perceived exposure to mosquitoes plays a fundamental role in the adoption of a range of protective behaviors aiming to prevent and control mosquito-borne disease. However, it is largely unknown in the present literature to what extent perceived exposure is associated with actual exposure. Moreover, the perception of nuisance may depend on the natural environment in which human populations are living, and especially its epidemiological context. In this study, the hypothesis that perceived exposure is driven by mosquito abundance was tested in two different geographic areas. We compared a range of perceived nuisance measures—collected through questionnaires—with egg number measured within ovitraps located in the south of France, which has been recently colonized by an arbovirus vector, and La Martinique island, a tropical French territory, which has a long history of outbreaks of mosquito-borne pathogens. Unexpectedly, only the nuisance due to mosquito noise was correlated with ovitrap activity in southern France. All other perceived exposure measures, both in the south of France and in Martinique, were not correlated with egg number surrounding households investigated. These results suggest the existence of habituation effects that may disturb the engagement in adaptive behaviors in the face of change in the entomological conditions.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 5:28:01 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 18, 2020 - 2:34:50 PM

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Béatrice Gaillard, Frédéric Simard, Laurent Dormont, Pierre Jay-Robert, Denis D’abadie de Lurbe, et al.. Is Perceived Exposure to Mosquitoes Associated with Actual Exposure? Results from Studies in High-Risk and Low-Risk Geographic Areas. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2019, 101 (5), pp.976-979. ⟨10.4269/ajtmh.19-0074⟩. ⟨hal-02862866⟩

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