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Universal reliance on reducing the source of the Aedes aegypti mosquito is not working in most at-risk societies and dengue fever remains prevalent, say Amy C. Morrison and colleagues in PLoS Medicine.
The authors aim to provoke a re-examination of how best to prevent dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya.
They say far more attention should be given to adult mosquitoes, as occurs in malaria prevention, and developing a suitable method for gauging adult A. aegypti densities is vital.
Other measures could include more focused surveillance and improved strategies for killing mosquitoes, including development and testing of products that appeal to consumers.
A top priority, regardless of methods used in control programmes, is political commitment: "Although participation of those affected is crucial, there has never been a successful program without enlightened, adequately funded, and well-organised leadership."
PLoS Medicine doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050068 (2008)