Influence of biotic factors on the efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae).
Introduction: Bacillus thuringiensis H-14 has shown high efficacy on Aedes aegypti larvae. But a number of factors could affect its effectiveness. Knowing these factors is of vital importance for improving the application parameters in real conditions in order to guarantee the treatment's efficiency and to reduce environmental impact. Objective: To evaluate the influence of some biotic factors on Bacillus thuringiensis H-14 efficacy against Aedes aegypti (Rockefeller). Methods: An experimental study was conducted following the WHO guidelines. The influence of the food availability, the larval density and the larval staging was evaluated on laboratory bioassays. A commercial Bacillus thuringiensis H-14 formulation against a reference Aedes aegypti strain was used. Results: The efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis H-14 decreased in a linear manner with increasing larval density and development stage. This could be related to food intake and availability of the active principle. Competition in food intake resulted in lower efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis H-14 applications. Conclusions: The Bacillus thuringiensis H-14 efficacy was affected for the availability of food, the larval development stage and the larval density, so all this should be borne in mind when applying the biolarvicide in situ.