A recent innovation instrumented for the Dengue Prevention and Control program in Mexico is the use of the premises condition index (PCI) as an indicator of risk for the vector Aedes aegypti infestation in dengue-endemic localities of Mexico. This paper addresses whether further improvements for the dengue control program could be made if the prevalence and productivity of Ae. aegypti populations could be reliably predicted using PCI at the household level, as well as medium-sized neighborhoods. We evaluated the use of PCI to predict the infestation with Aedes aegypti (breeding sites and immature productivity) in Merida, Mexico. The study consisted of a cross-sectional survey based on a cluster-randomized sampling design. We analyzed the statistical association between Aedes infestation and PCI, the extent to which the 3 components of PCI (house maintenance, and tidiness and shading of the patio) contributed to the association between PCI and infestation and whether infestation in a given premises was also affected by the PCI of the surrounding ones. Premises with the lowest PCI had significantly lower Aedes infestation and productivity; and as PCI scores increased infestation levels also tended to increase. Household PCI was significantly associated with Ae. aegypti breeding, largely due to the effect of patio untidiness and patio shade. The mean PCI within the surroundings premises also had a significant and independent explanatory power to predict the risk for infestation, in addition to individual PCI. This is the 1st study in México showing evidence that premises condition as measured by the PCI is related to Ae. aegypti breeding sites and immature productivity. Results suggest that PCI could be used to streamline surveys to inform control efforts at least where Ae. aegypti breeds outdoors, as in Merida. The effect of individual premises, neighborhood condition, and the risk of Aedes infestation imply that the risk for dengue vector infestation can only be minimized by the mass effect at the community level.
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