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Publications (7)14.59 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The study area, Cuddalore, is one of the endemic districts for Japanese encephalitis (JE) in southern India and there is a strong seasonality in JE case incidence, as well as JE virus (JEV) infection in the principal vector Culex (Culex) tritaeniorhynchus Giles. In a longitudinal 3-year study (July 2003 to June 2006), we determined the susceptibility of wild-caught female Cx. tritaeniorhynchus for JEV infection over several seasons from several villages. The susceptibility varied in all four seasons with the lowest value (4.82 geometric mean [GM]) in hot and wet seasons and highest (13.22 GM) in cool and wet seasons. Infection rate was significant between seasons (7.08-11.85 GM) and years (4.82-13.22 GM). Although the vector was abundant throughout the year, with an average per man-hour density ranging from 58 to 652, the JEV infection rates showed no correlation with vector abundance during different seasons in the index villages. The temporal and spatial changes in the competency of the vector appeared to influence the JEV infection rate in vector, which may at least partially explain the seasonality in JEV human cases in the study area.
    Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.) 12/2010; 10(10):1003-8. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 2001, a major dengue outbreak was recorded in Chennai city, with 737 cases (90%) out of a total of 861 cases recorded from Tamil Nadu state. A KAP survey was carried out to assess the community knowledge, attitude and practice on dengue fever (DF), following the major dengue outbreak in 2001. A pre- tested, structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The multistage cluster sampling method was employed and 640 households (HHs) were surveyed. Among the total HHs surveyed, 34.5% of HHs were aware of dengue and only 3.3% of HHs knew that virus is the causative agent for DF. Majority of the HHs (86.5%) practiced water storage and only 3% of them stored water more than 5 days. No control measures were followed to avoid mosquito breeding in the water holding containers by majority of HHs (65%). Sixty percent of HHs did not know the biting behaviour of dengue vector mosquitoes. The survey results indicate that the community knowledge was very poor on dengue, its transmission, vector breeding sources, biting behavior and preventive measures. The lack of basic knowledge of the community on dengue epidemiology and vector bionomics would be also a major cause of increasing trend of dengue in this highly populated urban environment. There is an inevitable need to organize health education programmes about dengue disease to increase community knowledge and also to sensitize the community to participate in integrated vector control programme to resolve the dengue problem.
    Tropical biomedicine 08/2010; 27(2):330-6. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Specimens of Anopheles pseudosundaicus, new species, belonging to the Pyretophorus Series of Anopheles (Cellia), were collected from the coastal areas of Alleppey and Kollam districts in Krerala, southwest India. Female (holotype), male (allotype), pupa and fourth-stage larva of this species are described and illustrated to distinguish it from An. subpictus Grassi and An. sundaicus. (Rodenwaldt). It differs from An. sundaicus by the absence of speckling on legs and from An. subpictus in having a complete prehumeral dark spot on costa in wings. A partial sequence of Cytochrome oxidase C subunit 1 (CO1) of mt DNA places An. pseudosundaicus phylogenetically distant from An. sundaicus and closer to An. subpictus.
    Zootaxa 09/2009; 2219:49-60. · 1.06 Impact Factor
  • The Indian Journal of Medical Research 04/2009; 129(3):329-32. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dengue viruses are spread and maintained in an Aedes aegypti-human- Ae. aegypti cycle in urban areas of the tropics. Dengue viruses are also maintained in nature by vertical transmission by Ae. aegypti. A study was undertaken in Chennai, a known endemic city in south India, to comprehend the natural vertical transmission dynamics in Ae. aegypti and to assess its epidemiological importance. Ae. aegypti males collected in resting and landing collections were tested for dengue virus infection by antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and further examined by insect bioassay, Toxorhynchites splendens inoculation-indirect immunofluorescence technique (Toxo-IFA) using serotype-specific monoclonal antibodies (Mabs), if found positive by ELISA. Of the 509 pools of Ae. aegypti males (n=5408) screened, 15 pools, collected in April, June- July, November-December in 2003 and March, May in 2004, were found positive for dengue virus infection and the minimum infection rate (MIR) among adult males was high in June 2003 (28.0/ 1000). Three positive pools could be serotyped as dengue-2 (2 pools) and dengue-3 (1 pool). Dengue virus isolations from wild caught males of Ae. aegypti indicate the occurrence of transovarial transmission. Vertical transmission was mainly observed in summer months when dengue infections in humans were low suggesting that dengue viruses adopt a novel strategy of surviving adverse climatic conditions.
    The Indian Journal of Medical Research 05/2008; 127(4):395-7. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the role of Anopheles subpictus Grassi as a vector of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) transmission in Cuddalore, an area of Tamil Nadu endemic for the disease. We collected 98 pools (4,900 specimens) of wild adult male An. subpictus mosquitoes outdoors during dusk hours and screened them for JEV antigen by antigen-capture Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay. Additionally, over a period of 1 year, we tested 166 pools (8,300 specimens) of wild adult female An. subpictus mosquitoes collected indoors for JEV. Four pools of male An. subpictus tested positive. This indicates possible natural transovarial transmission of the virus through An. subpictus. Nineteen female pools were positive with a minimum infection rate of 2.3. From January through March the maximum infection rate was highest: 5.0 compared with 1.7 between April and September and 2.1 from October to December, although the difference was not statistically significant. From the 19 positive female pools, four isolates were confirmed as JEV by insect bioassay. The role of An. subpictus as a secondary vector in JEV transmission in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu lends support to the hypothesis of periodic epidemics in the region.
    Tropical Medicine & International Health 04/2006; 11(3):288-93. · 2.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Japanese encephalitis (JE) is endemic in Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu, where Culex tritaeniorhynchus Giles was the major vector. We screened 45 100 adult female Cx. tritaeniorhynchus (902 pools) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and isolated and confirmed JE virus (JEV) by using an insect bioassay system. We had 69 isolates of which 62 (90%) were identified as JEV. The average vector abundance per man hour for Cx. tritaeniorhynchus was 324.5 per month for the period June 1998-May 2000. The average minimum infection rate (MIR) per month in Cx. tritaeniorhynchus was 1.4 (range 0.0-5.6). Every year, a new batch of goats, 20 in the first year and 31 in the second year, born during the non-JE transmission period (January-June), aged <6 months and negative for haemagglutination inhibition (HI) antibodies were procured and placed in the villages as sentinels. Fortnightly, blood specimens were collected from these goats and tested for JE antibodies by HI test. Seroconversions (SCs) were recorded in 14 goats (70%) in the first year and 23 goats (74%) in the second year. JE HI antibody titres in goats were low (1:10-1:80) and these levels declined to undetectable levels in about 4 weeks following SCs. The time sequence of events indicated that four of five peaks of MIR in mosquitoes were followed 1-3 months later by peaks in the proportion of seroconverted goats. We suggest the screening of goats and cattle as a more feasible tool to stratify areas according to JE infection risk to the human population through the regular health system rather than screening mosquitoes using monoclonal antibodies, which is possible only in specialized laboratories.
    Tropical Medicine & International Health 03/2003; 8(2):174-81. · 2.94 Impact Factor