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USDA Cooperative Agreement funds mosquito project at Rutgers
Date:11/9/2007

New Brunswick, NJThe Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers New Jersey Experiment Station (NJAES) is a major partner in a recent USDA Cooperative Agreement aimed at using integrated pest management (IPM) techniques to suppress the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) across the country. The $3.8 million, five-year proposal is funded by the Agricultural Research Service as one of its area-wide IPM projects.

The introduction of the Asian tiger mosquito into the U.S. was one of the most significant public health events of the past quarter-century, said Robert M. Goodman, executive dean of agriculture and natural resources at Rutgers. Health officers concerned with vector-borne disease recognize this mosquito as an efficient laboratory vector of more than thirty arboviruses, in particular dengue, chickungunya, and even yellow fever. We created the Center for Vector Biology at NJAES in 2006 to address these types of public health risks.

The Center for Vector Biology will be a partner with the USDAs Mosquito and Fly Research Unit in Gainesville, Florida in its suppression of the mosquito. In addition, Rutgers scientists will collaborate with officers from Monmouth and Mercer County Mosquito Control Agencies to use education and community involvement, as well as mosquito surveillance and control to systematically attack all life stages of this invasive pest. Brandeis University economists will analyze the costs and benefits at all stages of the project. The objective is to create a cost-effective program to control the Asian tiger mosquito. In the fifth year, the program will be extended to ten or more mosquito control programs across the country.

Introduced into the U.S. in 1985, the Asian tiger mosquito now infests thirty states and continues to spread. In addition to being a potential vector of debilitating epidemics, it is also regarded as the most significant nuisance mosquito across its range. Asian tiger mosquitoes are aggressive
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Contact: Michele Hujber
hujber@aesop.rutgers.edu
732-932-7000 x4204
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert

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