Accelerating the Implementation of Zika Control Research
To respond to the Zika outbreak efficiently and effectively, decision-makers must know which mosquito species can transmit the Zika virus and under which conditions these species can do so. However, the flow of information from decision-makers to research scientists typically is a slow process that rarely includes the key intuitive, translational next steps.
Abt Associates’ staff – working with collaborators at the University of California-Davis – are speeding up this research-to-practice process regarding Zika vector control.
The Abt Associates/U.C. Davis team is designing and conducting laboratory and field studies on the key North American mosquito species that can serve as vectors for Zika virus so that decision makers can immediately apply the findings in the context of their local and regional vector control and public health response activities.
We also plan to test how environmental conditions – such as temperature and humidity – viral strains, mosquito sub-species, and other parameters affect mosquito infection and transmission of the Zika virus. Ultimately, we will determine the rate of infection and transmission efficacy of selected mosquito species that are suspected or have the potential to be vectors of Zika.
“With Abt’s technical experts in the field, who work in mosquito-control projects such as PMI AIRS, we are capable of moving quickly to understand and respond to mosquito-borne disease outbreaks,” said Ryan Takeshita, project director for the U.C. Davis collaboration and an associate at Abt.