[Source: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
OPEN ACCESS / PEER-REVIEWED / RESEARCH ARTICLE
On lifestyle trends, health and mosquitoes: Formulating welfare levels for control of the Asian tiger mosquito in Greece
Antonios Kolimenakis , Kostas Bithas, Dionysis Latinopoulos, Clive Richardson
Published: June 4, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007467 / This is an uncorrected proof.
The expansion of urban ecosystems and climate change, both outcomes of massive lifestyle changes, contribute to a series of side effects such as environmental deterioration, spread of diseases, increased greenhouse gas emissions and introduction of invasive species. In the case of the Athens metropolitan area, an invasive mosquito species—the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)–has spread widely in the last decade. This spread is favoured within urban environments and is also affected by changing climatic trends. The Asian tiger mosquito is accompanied by risks of mosquito-borne diseases, greater nuisance levels, and increased expenses incurring for its confrontation. The main aims of this paper are (i) to estimate the various costs associated with their control of this invasive species, as well as its health and nuisance impacts, (ii) to evaluate the level of citizens’ well-being from averting these impacts and (iii) to record citizens’ and experts’ perceptions regarding alternative control measures. Evidence shows that experts tend to place a high value on mosquito control when associated with serious health risks, while citizens are more sensitive and concerned about the environmental impacts of control methods. The synthesis of results produced by the current study could act as a preliminary guide for the estimation of societal welfare from the confrontation of similar problems in the context of a complex ecosystem.
This paper is based on several years’ collaboration among researchers from various disciplines, key health policy makers and stakeholders in an attempt to evaluate the economic dimensions related to the presence of the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the challenges of tackling mosquito-borne disease outbreaks in Greece and Southern Europe. Similar studies have been conducted and continue to be published in Europe and the USA examining the socioeconomic benefit from the implementation of relevant control and prevention strategies. These studies conclude that there are significant benefits related both to the reduction of nuisance levels and the reduction of the health risks posed by various mosquito species. In our case, the application of an updated economic analysis on the effectiveness of relevant public control and prevention programs provides essential information for public health decision-making, bearing in mind the significant restructuring of the public sector and the fiscal crisis apparent in the European South.
Citation: Kolimenakis A, Bithas K, Latinopoulos D, Richardson C (2019) On lifestyle trends, health and mosquitoes: Formulating welfare levels for control of the Asian tiger mosquito in Greece. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 13(6): e0007467. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007467
Editor: Olaf Horstick, University of Heidelberg, GERMANY
Received: October 2, 2018; Accepted: May 14, 2019; Published: June 4, 2019
Copyright: © 2019 Kolimenakis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Data Availability: All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Supporting Information files.
Funding: Part of this research has been co-financed by the European Union (EU Environmental Funding Programme LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance) and Greek national funds through the LIFE CONOPS project “Development & demonstration of management plans against—the climate change enhanced—invasive mosquitoes in S. Europe” (LIFE12ENV/GR/000466). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Keywords: Climate change; Mosquitoes; Aedes albopictus; Society; Poverty; Greece.