Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a significant health problem in Sonora, Mexico. The tick vector, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, feeds almost exclusively on domestic dogs that, in this region, also serve as the reservoir for the tick-borne pathogen, Rickettsia rickettsii. A process-based mathematical model of the life cycle of R. sanguineus was developed to predict combinations of insecticidal dog collars and long-lasting insecticidal wall treatments resulting in suppression of indoor tick populations. Because of a high burden of RMSF in a rural community near the Sonora state capital of Hermosillo, a test area was treated with a combination of insecticidal dog collars and long-lasting insecticidal wall treatments from March 2018 to April 2019, with subsequent reduction in RMSF cases and deaths. An estimated 80% of the dogs in the area had collars applied and 15% of the houses were treated. Data on tick abundance on walls and dogs, collected during this intervention, were used to parameterize the model. Model results show a variety of treatment combinations likely to be as successful as the one carried out in the test community.
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