This study aimed to identify the major mosquito vectors of Ross River virus (family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus, RRV) and to explore the threshold of mosquito abundance necessary for RRV transmission in Brisbane, Australia. Data on the monthly counts of RRV cases by statistical local areas from the Queensland Health and the monthly mosquito abundance in Brisbane between November 1998 and December 2001 from the Brisbane City Council were used to assess the pairwise relationship between mosquito abundance and the incidence of RRV disease over a range of time lags using cross-correlations. We used time series Poisson regression models to identify major mosquito species associated with incidence of RRV after adjusting for overdispersion, maximum temperature, autocorrelation, and seasonality. Our results show that Aedes vigilax (Skuse) (relative risk [RR] = 1.32; 95% CI = 1.01–1.74 per 100 mosquitoes per trap) and Culex annulirostris (Skuse) (RR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.04–1.24 per 100 mosquitoes per trap) were most strongly associated with RRV transmission at a lag of 1 mo. Classification and regression tree (CART) analyses indicate that the occurrence of RRV was associated with an average monthly mosquito abundance of Aedes vigilax above 72 and Cx. annulirostris above 52. The validation analyses indicate that the crude agreement between predicted values and actual observations was 76% (sensitivity, 61%; specificity, 80%). The results may have applications as a decision support tool in planning disease control and risk-management programs.
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Vol. 43 • No. 2