Evidence based community mobilization for dengue prevention in Nicaragua and Mexico (Camino Verde, the Green Way): cluster randomized controlled trial

BMJ. 2015 Jul 8;351:h3267. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h3267.


Objective: To test whether community mobilization adds effectiveness to conventional dengue control.

Design: Pragmatic open label parallel group cluster randomized controlled trial. Those assessing the outcomes and analyzing the data were blinded to group assignment. Centralized computerized randomization after the baseline study allocated half the sites to intervention, stratified by country, evidence of recent dengue virus infection in children aged 3-9, and vector indices.

Setting: Random sample of communities in Managua, capital of Nicaragua, and three coastal regions in Guerrero State in the south of Mexico.

Participants: Residents in a random sample of census enumeration areas across both countries: 75 intervention and 75 control clusters (about 140 households each) were randomized and analyzed (60 clusters in Nicaragua and 90 in Mexico), including 85,182 residents in 18,838 households.

Interventions: A community mobilization protocol began with community discussion of baseline results. Each intervention cluster adapted the basic intervention-chemical-free prevention of mosquito reproduction-to its own circumstances. All clusters continued the government run dengue control program.

Main outcome measures: Primary outcomes per protocol were self reported cases of dengue, serological evidence of recent dengue virus infection, and conventional entomological indices (house index: households with larvae or pupae/households examined; container index: containers with larvae or pupae/containers examined; Breteau index: containers with larvae or pupae/households examined; and pupae per person: pupae found/number of residents). Per protocol secondary analysis examined the effect of Camino Verde in the context of temephos use.

Results: With cluster as the unit of analysis, serological evidence from intervention sites showed a lower risk of infection with dengue virus in children (relative risk reduction 29.5%, 95% confidence interval 3.8% to 55.3%), fewer reports of dengue illness (24.7%, 1.8% to 51.2%), fewer houses with larvae or pupae among houses visited (house index) (44.1%, 13.6% to 74.7%), fewer containers with larvae or pupae among containers examined (container index) (36.7%, 24.5% to 44.8%), fewer containers with larvae or pupae among houses visited (Breteau index) (35.1%, 16.7% to 55.5%), and fewer pupae per person (51.7%, 36.2% to 76.1%). The numbers needed to treat were 30 (95% confidence interval 20 to 59) for a lower risk of infection in children, 71 (48 to 143) for fewer reports of dengue illness, 17 (14 to 20) for the house index, 37 (35 to 67) for the container index, 10 (6 to 29) for the Breteau index, and 12 (7 to 31) for fewer pupae per person. Secondary per protocol analysis showed no serological evidence of a protective effect of temephos.

Conclusions: Evidence based community mobilization can add effectiveness to dengue vector control. Each site implementing the intervention in its own way has the advantage of local customization and strong community engagement.

Trial registration: ISRCTN27581154.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aedes
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Dengue / epidemiology
  • Dengue / prevention & control*
  • Dengue Virus / growth & development*
  • Disease Reservoirs / parasitology*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Housing / standards*
  • Humans
  • Insecticides
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Mosquito Control / methods
  • Mosquito Control / organization & administration*
  • Nicaragua / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Seasons
  • Water Supply / standards


  • Insecticides

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN27581154