The ability of a simple sweeping method, coupled to calibration factors, to accurately estimate the total numbers of Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) pupae in water-storage containers (20–6,412-liter capacities at different water levels) throughout their main dengue virus transmission temperature range was evaluated. Using this method, one set of three calibration factors were derived that could accurately estimate the total Ae. aegypti pupae in their principal breeding sites, large water-storage containers, found throughout the world. No significant differences were obtained using the method at different altitudes (14–1,630 m above sea level) that included the range of temperatures (20–30°C) at which dengue virus transmission occurs in the world. In addition, no significant differences were found in the results obtained between and within the 10 different teams that applied this method; therefore, this method was extremely robust. One person could estimate the Ae. aegypti pupae in each of the large water-storage containers in only 5 min by using this method, compared with two people requiring between 45 and 90 min to collect and count the total pupae population in each of them. Because the method was both rapid to perform and did not disturb the sediment layers in these domestic water-storage containers, it was more acceptable by the residents, and, therefore, ideally suited for routine surveillance purposes and to assess the efficacy of Ae. aegypti control programs in dengue virus-endemic areas throughout the world.
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Vol. 44 • No. 6