The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) took place in Kansas City, MO. The Association’s president, Wayne Gale, brought attention to the meeting’s ability to bring together the industry to share experiences, discoveries, and challenges. A portion of AMCA’s mission highlights the goal to, “… provide leadership, information and education leading to the enhancement of health and quality of life through the suppression of mosquitoes.…”
VDCI is incredibly proud of the way our team continues to reinforce AMCA’s mission, with their dedication to expanding their knowledge of mosquito management by partnering with experts across the industry. It brings us joy to share a few examples, of collaboration and supporting the future of mosquito control, that were discussed or were on display during the 2018 Annual Meeting.
Environmental Conditions and Mosquito-Borne Disease
Dr. Broox Boze prepared a poster presentation focusing on the role of birds and climate change in predicting West Nile virus outbreaks in Northern Colorado. This collaborative project was funded by the National Center for Atmospheric Research and highlights the important role of drought and other environmental factors affecting environmental and human health.
West Nile Virus Detection
One of the week’s symposiums offered insight into the use of Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) in Arbovirus Detection (a group of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, or other arthropods). Two of the symposium presentations included collaborative work with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Dr. Daniel Markowski, VDCI’s VP of Operations. The research used a novel assay to detect West Nile virus in mosquito pools as part of a county public health mosquito management program in Ohio. Along with a team from the CDC, the surveillance and disease monitoring efforts were supported by VDCI’s Regional Director, Cristina Flores and Contract Manager, Theodore Green.
Resistance Monitoring in the Delta
Regional Director, Kris New and Contract Managers, Kellie Nestrud and Mi’Shayla Johnson, alongside Dr. Boze, completed work on insecticide resistance monitoring in both Mississippi and Louisiana. Playing an active role in understanding the mosquito species in a given area, and what control efforts are most meaningful, is a subject our team takes seriously. The group’s role was a piece of a larger research project lead by the CDC. VDCI’s efforts were recognized in both oral and poster presentations by colleagues at the CDC. The poster that focused on the evaluation of Culex quinquefasciatus in Louisiana received the 2nd place award (Great work, Milena!).
Emergency Response Perspective
The moment that mosquito control is elevated to an Emergency Response mission, public health leaders at the local, state, and federal level call on service contractors and chemical suppliers as well as the military to support response needs. The panel discussion From Chaos to Calm: Mosquito Control Response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria was comprised of seven individuals providing perspectives from each of the areas mentioned. VDCI’s Dr. Daniel Markowski discussed how our team prepared and executed mosquito response plans on the ground and in the air – stressing the importance of maintaining clear channels of communication with public health leaders, suppliers, and local officials throughout each mission. Responding to large-scale mosquito outbreaks is never easy. However, with the combined efforts of our partners in the industry, we were able to mobilize our staff and give residents and first responders in each state relief from the billions of mosquitoes that resulted from the floodwaters. According to Dr. Markowski, “This was VDCI’s 12th hurricane event that we’ve responded to. In every one, you realize that the team we have makes the long days and insane work hours bearable.” VDCI is proud to help the people in Texas and Florida, but hope they never see hurricanes on this scale again.
AMCA Young Professionals (YP)
Whether as a professional or a student, the AMCA YP group welcomes individuals starting their career (less than 5 years) in the mosquito industry. Along with several other organizations, VDCI enjoys sponsoring an individual to attend the Annual Meeting and partake in the week-long agenda the association creates specifically for the YPs. With VDCI headquarters located in Little Rock, AR – it was exciting to learn our 2018 YP was also our neighbor!
David Theuret is beginning his career as a Public Health Entomologist for the Arkansas Department of Health. Mr. Theuret provided a recap of his time at AMCA saying, “The 2018 AMCA meeting was an amazing experience. Partnering with VDCI through the Industry Shadowing Program allowed me to take full advantage of all of the opportunities to learn and network at this meeting, and I am grateful for their support. The research presented provided a clear sense of direction for future projects to improve the program in Arkansas; including emergency vector control response following natural disasters, innovative methods of community outreach, and invasion of new mosquito species such as Culex coronator. Networking with experts and speaking with my fellow young professionals was wonderful, both personally and professionally. They have reinvigorated my excitement about continuing to work and grow in this field, and I can’t wait to see everyone next year!”
Supporting the Future
The YP Association held an auction during the Annual Meeting. The activity was an exciting way to raise funds for future YP programs, and Dr. Broox Boze was happy to support the auction by donating a stained-glass mosquito masterpiece. What began as a creative hobby in high school has found its way into many chapters of the scientist’s life. Thank you to Dr. Boze and the winner of her art! Both of your contributions have supported the future leaders in our industry.
As a result of this year’s meeting, the VDCI Team is actively working on ideas, challenges, and partnerships to aid in the ongoing mission to protect public health. We remain vigilant in our efforts, and look forward to the listening and participating at the 2019 meeting in Orlando, Florida. We hope to see all of our friends and partners there!
Since 1992, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI) has taken pride in providing municipalities, mosquito abatement districts, military bases, industrial sites, planned communities, homeowners associations, and golf courses with the tools they need to run effective integrated tick and mosquito management. We are determined to protect the public health of the communities in which we operate. Our tick and mosquito management professionals have over 100 years of combined experience in the field of public health, specifically vector disease control. We strive to provide the most effective and scientifically sound mosquito surveillance and control programs possible based on an Integrated Mosquito Management approach recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VDCI is the only company in the country that can manage all aspects of an integrated tick and mosquito management program, from surveillance to disease testing to mosquito aerial application in emergency response situations.