Eco-bio-social research on dengue in Asia: a multicountry study on ecosystem and community-based approaches for the control of dengue vectors in urban and peri-urban Asia

Pathog Glob Health. 2012 Dec;106(8):428-35. doi: 10.1179/2047773212Y.0000000055.


This article provides an overview of methods and cross-site insights of a 5-year research and capacity building initiative conducted between 2006 and 2011 in six countries of South Asia (India, Sri Lanka) and South-East Asia (Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand).The initiative managed an interdisciplinary investigation of ecological, biological, and social (i.e., eco-bio-social) dimensions of dengue in urban and peri-urban areas, and developed community-based interventions aimed at reducing dengue vector breeding and viral transmission. The multicountry study comprised interdisciplinary research groups from six leading Asian research institutions. The groups conducted a detailed situation analysis to identify and characterize local eco-bio-social conditions, and formed a community-of-practice for EcoHealth research where group partners disseminated results and collaboratively developed site-specific intervention tools for vector-borne diseases. In sites where water containers produced more than 70% of Aedes pupae, interventions ranged from mechanical lid covers for containers to biological control. Where small discarded containers presented the main problem, groups experimented with solid waste management, composting and recycling schemes. Many intervention tools were locally produced and all tools were implemented through community partnership strategies. All sites developed socially and culturally appropriate health education materials. The study also mobilised and empowered women's, students' and community groups and at several sites organized new volunteer groups for environmental health. The initiative's programmes showed significant impact on vector densities in some sites. Other sites showed varying effect - partially attributable to the 'contamination' of control groups - yet led to significant outcomes at the community level where local groups united around broad interests in environmental hygiene and sanitation. The programme's findings are relevant for defining efficient, effective and ecologically sound vector control interventions based on local evidence and in accordance with WHO's strategy for integrated vector management.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / virology
  • Animals
  • Asia
  • Biomedical Research / organization & administration
  • Community Health Services / methods
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Dengue / prevention & control*
  • Dengue / transmission
  • Disease Reservoirs / virology
  • Ecosystem
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors / virology
  • Mosquito Control / methods
  • Mosquito Control / organization & administration*
  • Suburban Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Water Microbiology
  • Water Supply