Optimal barrier zones for stopping the invasion of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes via transgenic or sterile insect techniques

S. Seirin Lee, Ruth E. Baker, Eamonn A. Gaffney, Steven M. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Biological invasions have dramatically altered the natural world by threatening native species and their communities. Moreover, when the invading species is a vector for human disease, there are further substantive public health and economic impacts. The development of transgenic technologies is being explored in relation to new approaches for the biological control of insect pests. We investigate the use of two control strategies, classical sterile insect techniques and transgenic late-acting bisex lethality (Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal), for controlling invasion of the mosquito Aedes aegypti using a spatial stage-structured mathematical model. In particular, we explore the use of a barrier zone of sterile/transgenic insects to prevent or impede the invasion of mosquitoes. We show that the level of control required is not only highly sensitive to the rate at which the sterile/transgenic males are released in the barrier zone but also to the spatial range of release. Our models characterise how the distribution of sterile/transgenic mosquitoes in the barrier zone can be controlled so as to minimise the number of mass-produced insects required for the arrest of species invasion. We predict that, given unknown rates of mosquito dispersal, management strategies should concentrate on larger release areas rather than more intense release rates for optimal control. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-442
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical Ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 27 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-013-04
Acknowledgements: S.S.L. was partially funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS Excellent Young Researcher Overseas Visit Program) and Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics, University of Oxford (OCCAM Visiting PDRAs). This publication was based on work supported in part by Award No. KUK-C1-013-04, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. The authors would like to thank Steve Sait for the useful discussions.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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