Community involvement in mosquito management programs provides more sustainable and effective organization and service. A door to door survey in Wayne County, NC carried out by student volunteers, resulted in 60 household responses. Residents had not previously experienced outreach from the county (88%), and 95% of them thought the student door to door survey was an effective form of outreach. One third of the residents thought mosquitoes were severe where they lived, but only 9% thought they had any containers in their yard that might breed mosquitoes. Only 15% of the residents were concerned about mosquito borne diseases. These responses provide evidence that outreach and education on mosquito control and diseases were necessary steps for future mosquito control community planning.
community health; mosquito control; community survey
The search for a standard human surrogate in the form of a synthetic mosquito attractant has been the goal of many laboratories around the world. Besides alleviating the occupational risk subjected to volunteers participating in vector surveillance and control, discovery of potent attractants underpins the development and deployment of mass trapping devices for controlling mosquito-borne diseases.
A dual-port olfactometer was used to assess behavioural responses of female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes towards synthetic versus natural (whole human emanations and worn socks) attractants. The synthetic attractants included a standard blend consisting of ammonia, carbon dioxide and water; and Ifakara blend 1 (IB1) consisting of various aliphatic carboxylic acids. Natural attractants were obtained from two males known to be less and highly attractive (LA and HA, respectively) to the mosquitoes. Mosquito responses to the volunteers' worn socks were also investigated. The effect of heat (25-27°C) and moisture (75-85%) on the mosquito behavioural responses was determined.
A significantly higher proportion of mosquitoes was attracted to each volunteer when compared to the standard blend. Whereas the proportion of mosquitoes attracted to person LA versus IB1 (49% versus 51%, respectively; P = 0.417) or his worn socks did not differ (61% versus 39%, respectively; P = 0.163), far more mosquitoes were attracted to person HA relative to IB1 (96% versus 4%; P = 0.001) or his worn socks (91% versus 9%; P = 0.001). Person HA attracted a significantly higher proportion of mosquitoes than his worn socks, the standard blend and IB1 when these were augmented with heat, moisture or both (P = 0.001). Similar results were obtained with person LA except that the proportion of mosquitoes attracted to him versus his worn sock augmented with heat (P = 0.65) or IB1 augmented with heat and moisture (P = 0.416) did not differ significantly.
These findings indicate that olfactory cues are key mediators of the mosquito host-seeking process and that heat and moisture play a minor role. The need for a standard, highly stringent positive control for screening synthetic attractants is strongly highlighted.
Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) have been shown to host diverse bacterial communities that vary depending on the sex of the mosquito, the developmental stage, and ecological factors. Some studies have suggested a potential role of microbiota in the nutritional, developmental and reproductive biology of mosquitoes. Here, we present a review of the diversity and functions of mosquito-associated bacteria across multiple variation factors, emphasizing recent findings. Mosquito microbiota is considered in the context of possible extended phenotypes conferred on the insect hosts that allow niche diversification and rapid adaptive evolution in other insects. These kinds of observations have prompted the recent development of new mosquito control methods based on the use of symbiotically-modified mosquitoes to interfere with pathogen transmission or reduce the host life span and reproduction. New opportunities for exploiting bacterial function for vector control are highlighted.
Mosquito; Microbiome; Symbiont; Extended phenotype; Bacterial community
Attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB) sprayed onto vegetation has been successful in controlling Anopheles mosquitoes outdoors. Indoor application of ATSB has yet to be explored. The purpose of this study was to determine whether ATSB stations positioned indoors have the potential to kill host-seeking mosquitoes and constitute a new approach to control of mosquito-borne diseases.
Insecticides were mixed with dyed sugar solution and tested as toxic baits against Anopheles arabiensis, An. Gambiae s.s. and Culex quinquefasciatus in feeding bioassay tests to identify suitable attractant-insecticide combinations. The most promising ATSB candidates were then trialed in experimental huts in Moshi, Tanzania. ATSB stations were hung in huts next to untreated mosquito nets occupied by human volunteers. The proportions of mosquitoes killed in huts with ATSB treatments relative to huts with non-insecticide control treatments huts were recorded, noting evidence of dye in mosquito abdomens.
In feeding bioassays, chlorfenapyr 0.5% v/v, boric acid 2% w/v, and tolfenpyrad 1% v/v, mixed in a guava juice-based bait, each killed more than 90% of pyrethroid-susceptible An. Gambiae s.s. and pyrethroid-resistant An. arabiensis and Cx. quinquefasciatus. In the hut trial, mortality rates of the three ATSB treatments ranged from 41-48% against An. arabiensis and 36-43% against Cx. quinquefasciatus and all were significantly greater than the control mortalities: 18% for An. arabiensis, 7% for Cx. quinquefasciatus (p<0.05). Mortality rates with ATSB were comparable to those with long lasting insecticidal nets previously tested against the same species in this area.
Indoor ATSB shows promise as a supplement to mosquito nets for controlling mosquitoes. Indoor ATSB constitute a novel application method for insecticide classes that act as stomach poisons and have not hitherto been exploited for mosquito control. Combined with LLIN, indoor use of ATSB has the potential to serve as a strategy for managing insecticide resistance.
Mosquito control programs at seven urban sites in Kenya, Egypt, Israel, Costa Rica, and Trinidad are described and compared. Site-specific urban and disease characteristics, organizational diagrams, and strengths, weaknesses, obstacles and threats (SWOT) analysis tools are used to provide a descriptive assessment of each mosquito control program, and provide a comparison of the factors affecting mosquito abatement. The information for SWOT analysis is collected from surveys, focus group discussions, and personal communication. SWOT analysis identified various issues affecting the efficiency and sustainability of mosquito control operations. The main outcome of our work was the description and comparison of mosquito control operations within the context of each study site’s biological, social, political, management, and economic conditions. The issues identified in this study ranged from lack of inter-sector collaboration to operational issues of mosquito control efforts. A lack of sustainable funding for mosquito control was a common problem for most sites. Many unique problems were also identified, which included lack of mosquito surveillance, lack of law enforcement, and negative consequences of human behavior. Identifying common virtues and shortcomings of mosquito control operations is useful in identifying “best practices” for mosquito control operations, thus leading to better control of mosquito biting and mosquito-borne disease transmission.
Microbes are important for mosquito nutrition, growth, reproduction and control. In this study, we examined bacterial communities associated with larval mosquitoes and their habitats. Specifically, we characterized bacterial communities associated with late larval instars of the western encephalitis mosquito (Culextarsalis), the submerged portions of two emergent macrophytes (California bulrush, Schoenoplectuscalifornicus and alkali bulrush, Schoenoplectusmaritimus), and the associated water columns to investigate potential differential use of resources by mosquitoes in different wetland habitats. Using next-generation sequence data from 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions, the alpha diversity of mosquito gut microbial communities did not differ between pond mesocosms containing distinct monotypic plants. Proteobacteria, dominated by the genus Thorsellia (Enterobacteriaceae), was the most abundant phylum recovered from C. tarsalis larvae. Approximately 49% of bacterial OTUs found in larval mosquitoes were identical to OTUs recovered from the water column and submerged portions of the two bulrushes. Plant and water samples were similar to one another, both being dominated by Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia phyla. Overall, the bacterial communities within C. tarsalis larvae were conserved and did not change across sampling dates and between two distinct plant habitats. Although Thorsellia spp. dominated mosquito gut communities, overlap of mosquito gut, plant and water-column OTUs likely reveal the effects of larval feeding. Future research will investigate the role of the key indicator groups of bacteria across the different developmental stages of this mosquito species.
Background & objectives:
Knowledge of the bionomics of mosquitoes, especially of disease vectors, is essential to plan appropriate vector avoidance and control strategies. Information on biting activity of vectors during the night hours in different seasons is important for choosing personal protection measures. This study was carried out to find out the composition of mosquito fauna biting on humans and seasonal biting trends in Goa, India.
Biting activities of all mosquitoes including vectors were studied from 1800 to 0600 h during 85 nights using human volunteers in 14 different localities of three distinct ecotypes in Goa. Seasonal biting trends of vector species were analysed and compared. Seasonal biting periodicity during different phases of night was also studied using William's mean.
A total of 4,191 mosquitoes of five genera and 23 species were collected. Ten species belonged to Anopheles, eight to Culex, three to Aedes and one each to Mansonia and Armigeres. Eleven vector species had human hosts, including malaria vectors Anopheles stephensi (1.3%), An. fluviatilis (1.8%), and An. culicifacies (0.76%); filariasis vectors Culex quinquefasciatus (40.8%) and Mansonia uniformis (1.8%); Japanese encephalitis vectors Cx. tritaeniorhynchus (17.4%), Cx. vishnui (7.7%), Cx. pseudovishnui (0.1%), and Cx. gelidus (2.4%); and dengue and chikungunya vectors Aedes albopictus (0.9%) and Ae. aegypti (0.6%). Two An. stephensi of the total 831 female anophelines, were found positive for P. falciparum sporozoites. The entomological inoculation rate (EIR) of P. falciparum was 18.1 and 2.35 for Panaji city and Goa, respectively.
Interpretation & conclusions:
Most of the mosquito vector species were collected in all seasons and throughout the scotophase. Biting rates of different vector species differed during different phases of night and seasons. Personal protection methods could be used to stop vector-host contact.
Anopheles stephensi; biting activity; circumsporozoite protein; entomological inoculation rate; landing rates; William's mean
Frequent, sensitive and accurate sampling of Anopheles mosquitoes is a prerequisite for effective management of malaria vector control programmes. The most reliable existing means to measure mosquito density is the human landing catch (HLC). However, the HLC technique raises major ethical concerns because of the necessity to expose humans to vectors of malaria and a variety of other pathogens. Furthermore, it is a very arduous undertaking that requires intense supervision, which is severely limiting in terms of affordability and sustainability.
A community-based, mosquito sampling protocol, using the Ifakara tent trap-B (ITT-B) and standardized resting boxes (SRB), was developed and evaluated in terms of the number and sample composition of mosquitoes caught by each, compared to rigorously controlled HLC. Mosquitoes were collected once and three times every week by the HLC and the alternative methods, respectively, in the same time and location.
Overall, the three traps caught 44,848 mosquitoes. The ITT-B, HLC and SRB caught 168, 143 and 46 Anopheles gambiae s.l. as well as 26,315, 13,258 and 4,791 Culex species respectively. The ITT-B was three- and five-times cheaper than the HLC per mosquito caught for An. gambiae and Cx. Species, respectively. Significant correlations between the numbers caught by HLC and ITT-B were observed for both An. gambiae s.l. (P < 0.001) and Cx. species (P = 0.003). Correlation between the catches with HLC and SRB were observed for Cx. species (P < 0.001) but not An. gambiae s.l. (P = 0.195), presumably because of the low density of the latter. Neither ITT-B nor SRB exhibited any obvious density dependence for sampling the two species.
SRBs exhibited poor sensitivity for both mosquito taxa and are not recommended in this setting. However, this protocol is affordable and effective for routine use of the ITT-B under programmatic conditions. Nevertheless, it is recommended that the trap and the protocol be evaluated further at full programmatic scales to establish effectiveness under fully representative conditions of routine practice.
The most common pesticide products for controlling malaria-transmitting mosquitoes combine two distinct modes of action: 1) conventional insecticidal activity which kills mosquitoes exposed to the pesticide and 2) deterrence of mosquitoes away from protected humans. While deterrence enhances personal or household protection of long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual sprays, it may also attenuate or even reverse communal protection if it diverts mosquitoes to non-users rather than killing them outright.
A process-explicit model of malaria transmission is described which captures the sequential interaction between deterrent and toxic actions of vector control pesticides and accounts for the distinctive impacts of toxic activities which kill mosquitoes before or after they have fed upon the occupant of a covered house or sleeping space.
Increasing deterrency increases personal protection but consistently reduces communal protection because deterrent sub-lethal exposure inevitably reduces the proportion subsequently exposed to higher lethal doses. If the high coverage targets of the World Health Organization are achieved, purely toxic products with no deterrence are predicted to generally provide superior protection to non-users and even users, especially where vectors feed exclusively on humans and a substantial amount of transmission occurs outdoors. Remarkably, this is even the case if that product confers no personal protection and only kills mosquitoes after they have fed.
Products with purely mosquito-toxic profiles may, therefore, be preferable for programmes with universal coverage targets, rather than those with equivalent toxicity but which also have higher deterrence. However, if purely mosquito-toxic products confer little personal protection because they do not deter mosquitoes and only kill them after they have fed, then they will require aggressive "catch up" campaigns, with behaviour change communication strategies that emphasize the communal nature of protection, to achieve high coverage rapidly.
This study assesses the behavioural and socio-economic factors associated with avoiding mosquitoes and preventing malaria in urban environments in Kenya.
Data from two cities in Kenya were gathered using a household survey and a two-stage cluster sample design. The cities were stratified based on planning and drainage observed across the urban areas. This helped control for the strong environmental and topographical variation that we assumed influences mosquito ecology. Individual interviews given to each household included questions on socio-economic status, education, housing type, water source, rubbish disposal, mosquito-prevention practices and knowledge of mosquitoes. In multivariate regression, factors measuring wealth, education level, and the communities' level of planning and drainage were used to estimate the probability that a household engages in multiple mosquito-avoidance activities, or has all members sleeping under a bed net.
Our analysis shows that people from wealthier, more educated households were more likely to sleep under a net, in Kisumu (OR = 6.88; 95% CI = 2.56,18.49) and Malindi (OR = 3.80; 95% CI = 1.91,7.55). Similarly, the probability that households use several mosquito-prevention activities was highest among the wealthiest, best-educated households in Kisumu (OR = 5.15; 95% CI = 2.04,12.98), while in Malindi household wealth alone is the major determinant.
We demonstrate the importance of examining human-mosquito interaction in terms of how access to resources may enhance human activities. The findings illustrate that the poorest segments of society are already doing many things to protect themselves from being bitten, but they are doing less than their richer neighbours.
Insecticide treated nets (ITNs) represent a powerful means for controlling malaria in Africa because the mosquito vectors feed primarily indoors at night. The proportion of human exposure that occurs indoors, when people are asleep and can conveniently use ITNs, is therefore very high. Recent evidence suggests behavioral changes by malaria mosquito populations to avoid contact with ITNs by feeding outdoors in the early evening. We adapt an established mathematical model of mosquito behavior and malaria transmission to illustrate how ITNs can achieve communal suppression of malaria transmission exposure, even where mosquito evade them and personal protection is modest. We also review recent reports from Tanzania to show that conventional mosquito behavior measures can underestimate the potential of ITNs because they ignore the importance of human movements.
As the population of Africa rapidly urbanizes it may be possible to protect large populations from malaria by controlling aquatic stages of mosquitoes. Here we present a baseline evaluation of the ability of community members to detect mosquito larval habitats with minimal training and supervision in the first weeks of an operational urban malaria control program.
The Urban Malaria Control Programme of Dar es Salaam recruited and provided preliminary training to teams of Community-Owned Resource Persons (CORPs) who performed weekly surveys of mosquito breeding sites. Two trained mosquito biologists accompanied each of these teams for one week and evaluated the sensitivity of this system for detecting potential Anopheles habitats.
Overall, 42.4% of 986 habitats surveyed by an inspection team had previously been identified by CORPs. Agricultural habitats were detected less often than other habitats (30.8% detected, Odds Ratio [95%CI] = 0.46 [0.29–0.73], P = 0.001). Non-agricultural artificial habitats were less suitable than other habitats (29.3% occupancy, OR = 0.69 [0.46–1.03], P = 0.066) but still constituted 45% (169/289) of occupied habitats because of their abundance (51 % of all habitats).
The levels of coverage achieved by modestly trained and supported CORPs at the start of the Dar es Salaam UMCP were insufficient to enable effective suppression of malaria transmission through larval control. Further operational research is required to develop surveillance systems that are practical, affordable, effective and acceptable so that community-based integrated vector management can be implemented in cities across Africa.
This paper focuses on an unsettling example of experimental labour – the Human Landing Catch (HLC). The HLC is a cheap and reliable technique to produce data on mosquito densities in a defined area. It requires only a human volunteer to sit over night with his legs exposed, a headlamp to spot mosquitoes, and a rubber tube and plastic cup to catch them as they come to feed on him. The HLC formed the central methodological and operational strategy for a malaria control that took place in Dar es Salaam, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This paper analyses the epistemic and economic value of this experimental scenario by examining in detail the work it entails. In conceptualizing the different species of productivity associated with the HLC, of particular interest is the surprising fact that he is there. This paper argues that the interplay of mobility and immobility offers a way to rethink the value of research within interlocking circulations of capital, science, mosquitoes and men.
medical research; Africa; malaria; experimental value; post-socialism
Pfs25 and Pvs25, surface proteins of mosquito stage of the malaria parasites P. falciparum and P. vivax, respectively, are leading candidates for vaccines preventing malaria transmission by mosquitoes. This single blinded, dose escalating, controlled Phase 1 study assessed the safety and immunogenicity of recombinant Pfs25 and Pvs25 formulated with Montanide ISA 51, a water-in-oil emulsion.
The trial was conducted at The Johns Hopkins Center for Immunization Research, Washington DC, USA, between May 16, 2005–April 30, 2007. The trial was designed to enroll 72 healthy male and non-pregnant female volunteers into 1 group to receive adjuvant control and 6 groups to receive escalating doses of the vaccines. Due to unexpected reactogenicity, the vaccination was halted and only 36 volunteers were enrolled into 4 groups: 3 groups of 10 volunteers each were immunized with 5 µg of Pfs25/ISA 51, 5 µg of Pvs25/ISA 51, or 20 µg of Pvs25/ISA 51, respectively. A fourth group of 6 volunteers received adjuvant control (PBS/ISA 51). Frequent local reactogenicity was observed. Systemic adverse events included two cases of erythema nodosum considered to be probably related to the combination of the antigen and the adjuvant. Significant antibody responses were detected in volunteers who completed the lowest scheduled doses of Pfs25/ISA 51. Serum anti-Pfs25 levels correlated with transmission blocking activity.
It is feasible to induce transmission blocking immunity in humans using the Pfs25/ISA 51 vaccine, but these vaccines are unexpectedly reactogenic for further development. This is the first report that the formulation is associated with systemic adverse events including erythema nodosum.
Genetically-modified (GM) mosquitoes have been proposed as part of an integrated vector control strategy for malaria control. Public acceptance is essential prior to field trials, particularly since mosquitoes are a vector of human disease and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) face strong scepticism in developed and developing nations. Despite this, in sub-Saharan Africa, where the GM mosquito effort is primarily directed, very little data is available on perspectives to GMOs. Here, results are presented of a qualitative survey of public attitudes to GM mosquitoes for malaria control in rural and urban areas of Mali, West Africa between the months of October 2008 and June 2009.
The sample consisted of 80 individuals - 30 living in rural communities, 30 living in urban suburbs of Bamako, and 20 Western-trained and traditional health professionals working in Bamako and Bandiagara. Questions were asked about the cause of malaria, heredity and selective breeding. This led to questions about genetic alterations, and acceptable conditions for a release of pest-resistant GM corn and malaria-refractory GM mosquitoes. Finally, participants were asked about the decision-making process in their community. Interviews were transcribed and responses were categorized according to general themes.
Most participants cited mosquitoes as one of several causes of malaria. The concept of the gene was not widely understood; however selective breeding was understood, allowing limited communication of the concept of genetic modification. Participants were open to a release of pest-resistant GM corn, often wanting to conduct a trial themselves. The concept of a trial was reapplied to GM mosquitoes, although less frequently. Participants wanted to see evidence that GM mosquitoes can reduce malaria prevalence without negative consequences for human health and the environment. For several participants, a mosquito control programme was preferred; however a transgenic release that satisfied certain requirements was usually acceptable.
Although there were some dissenters, the majority of participants were pragmatic towards a release of GM mosquitoes. An array of social and cultural issues associated with malaria, mosquitoes and genetic engineering became apparent. If these can be successfully addressed, then social acceptance among the populations surveyed seems promising.
Malaria mosquito research in Africa as elsewhere is just over a century old. Early trials for development of mosquito control tools were driven by colonial enterprises and war efforts; they were, therefore, tested in military or colonial settings. The failure of those tools and environmental concerns, coupled with the desperate need for integrated malaria control strategies, has necessitated the development of new malaria mosquito control tools, which are to be tested on humans, their environment and mosquito habitats. Ethical concerns start with phase 2 trials, which pose limited ethical dilemmas. Phase 3 trials, which are undertaken on vulnerable civilian populations, pose ethical dilemmas ranging from individual to community concerns. It is argued that such trials must abide by established ethical principles especially safety, which is mainly enshrined in the principle of non-maleficence. As there is total lack of experience with many of the promising candidate tools (eg genetically modified mosquitoes, entomopathogenic fungi, and biocontrol agents), great caution must be exercised before they are introduced in the field. Since malaria vector trials, especially phase 3 are intrusive and in large populations, individual and community respect is mandatory, and must give great priority to community engagement. It is concluded that new tools must be safe, beneficial, efficacious, effective, and acceptable to large populations in the short and long-term, and that research benefits should be equitably distributed to all who bear the brunt of the research burdens. It is further concluded that individual and institutional capacity strengthening should be provided, in order to undertake essential research, carry out scientific and ethical review, and establish competent regulatory frameworks.
As part of a larger research program evaluating chemical threshold levels for a Push-Pull intervention to reduce man-vector (Aedes aegypti) contact, this qualitative study explored local perceptions and strategies associated with mosquito control within dengue-endemic communities in Peru and Thailand. Focus groups were used to provide preliminary information that would identify possible public acceptance issues to the Push-Pull strategy in each site. Nine focus group discussions (total of 102 individuals) conducted between September 2008 and March 2009 examined several themes: 1) current mosquito control practices; 2) perceptions of spatial repellency and contact irritancy versus killing mosquitoes; and 3) initial perceptions toward mosquito host-seeking traps. Results indicate participants use household-level strategies for insect control that reveal familiarity with the concept of spatial repellent and contact irritant actions of chemicals and that placing traps in the peridomestic environment to remove repelled mosquitoes was acceptable. Preliminary evidence suggests a Push-Pull strategy should be well accepted in these locations. These results will be beneficial for developing future large scale push-pull interventions and are currently being used to guide insecticide application strategies in (entomological) proof-of-concept studies using experimental huts.
The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a public health educational campaign to reduce backyard mosquito-larval habitats. Three communities each, within two New Jersey counties, were randomly selected to receive: (1) both education and mosquito control, (2) education only, and (3) no education or mosquito control. Four separate educational events included a 5-day elementary school curriculum in the spring, and three door to door distributions of educational brochures. Before and after each educational event, the numbers of mosquito-larval container habitats were counted in 50 randomly selected homes per study area. Container surveys allowed us to measure source reduction behavior. Although we saw reductions in container habitats in sites receiving education, they were not significantly different from the control. Our results suggest that traditional passive means of public education, which were often considered the gold standard for mosquito control programs, are not sufficient to motivate residents to reduce backyard mosquito-larval habitats.
Asian tiger mosquito; Aedes albopictus; public health education; source reduction
Community participation in vector control and health services in general is of great interest to public health practitioners in developing countries, but remains complex and poorly understood. The Urban Malaria Control Program (UMCP) in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, implements larval control of malaria vector mosquitoes. The UMCP delegates responsibility for routine mosquito control and surveillance to community-owned resource persons (CORPs), recruited from within local communities via the elected local government.
A mixed method, cross-sectional survey assessed the ability of CORPs to detect mosquito breeding sites and larvae, and investigated demographic characteristics of the CORPs, their reasons for participating in the UMCP, and their work performance. Detection coverage was estimated as the proportion of wet habitats found by the investigator which had been reported by CORP. Detection sensitivity was estimated as the proportion of wet habitats found by the CORPS which the investigator found to contain Anopheles larvae that were also reported to be occupied by the CORP.
The CORPs themselves perceived their role as professional rather than voluntary, with participation being a de facto form of employment. Habitat detection coverage was lower among CORPs that were recruited through the program administrative staff, compared to CORPs recruited by local government officials or health committees (Odds Ratio = 0.660, 95% confidence interval = [0.438, 0.995], P = 0.047). Staff living within their areas of responsibility had > 70% higher detection sensitivity for both Anopheline (P = 0.016) and Culicine (P = 0.012): positive habitats compared to those living outside those same areas.
Discussion and conclusions
Improved employment conditions as well as involving the local health committees in recruiting individual program staff, communication and community engagement skills are required to optimize achieving effective community participation, particularly to improve access to fenced compounds. A simpler, more direct, less extensive community-based surveillance system in the hands of a few, less burdened, better paid and maintained program personnel may improve performance and data quality.
Traps baited with synthetic human odors have been proposed as suitable technologies for controlling malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. We investigated the potential benefits of such traps for preventing malaria transmission in Africa and the essential characteristics that they should possess so as to be effective.
Methods and Principal Findings
An existing mathematical model was reformulated to distinguish availability of hosts for attack by mosquitoes from availability of blood per se. This adaptation allowed the effects of pseudo-hosts such as odor-baited mosquito traps, which do not yield blood but which can nonetheless be attacked by the mosquitoes, to be simulated considering communities consisting of users and non-users of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), currently the primary malaria prevention method. We determined that malaria transmission declines as trap coverage (proportion of total availability of all hosts and pseudo hosts that traps constitute) increases. If the traps are more attractive than humans and are located in areas where mosquitoes are most abundant, 20–130 traps per 1000 people would be sufficient to match the impact of 50% community-wide ITN coverage. If such traps are used to complement ITNs, malaria transmission can be reduced by 99% or more in most scenarios representative of Africa. However, to match cost-effectiveness of ITNs, the traps delivery, operation and maintenance would have to cost a maximum of US$4.25 to 27.61 per unit per year.
Conclusions and Significance
Odor-baited mosquito traps might potentially be effective and affordable tools for malaria control in Africa, particularly if they are used to complement, rather than replace, existing methods. We recommend that developers should focus on super-attractive baits and cheaper traps to enhance cost-effectiveness, and that the most appropriate way to deploy such technologies is through vertical delivery mechanisms.
Odour baited resting boxes are simple, reliable and important tools for sampling malaria vector mosquitoes in surveillance and control programmes in different parts of Africa. To optimize the use of cow urine baited resting boxes for sampling An. arabiensis, a community-based study was conducted in Mabogini hamlet in the Lower Moshi irrigation scheme area.
Experimental designs using 3 by 3 Latin square were conducted for twenty days to evaluate the following: i) the effect of different parameters in the sampling of mosquitoes using odour baited resting boxes; ii) the performance of odour baited traps under indoor and outdoor conditions and the effect of people sleeping indoors on mosquito density; iii) the effect of position in the placement of traps on collection of mosquitoes; and, iv) the efficiency of the trap outdoors at three different distances from the house wall. One extra house served as the sentinel house to monitor species abundance using a CDC-miniature light trap.
8581 mosquitoes were sampled by odour baited resting boxes of which, 8051 (93.82%) were An. arabiensis and 530 (6.18%) Cx. quinquefasciatus. The light trap collected 12,420 mosquitoes, of which 9442 (76.02%) were An. arabiensis, 126 (1.01%) An. funestus group, 230 (1.85%) An. rufipes and 2622 (21.11%) Cx. quinquefasciatus. The best height for outdoor mosquitoes sampling was 15 cm and 220 cm while indoors was 105 cm. The difference in mosquito collection between different outdoor and indoor heights was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). The optimal outdoor location of odour baited resting boxes from the wall of the house was 3 m.
The results of these studies demonstrate an optimal method for sampling during surveillance and control programmes in rural villages of highlands and arid areas of Africa using inexpensive baits and boxes.
To determine whether Experience Corps (EC), a social service program, would improve age-vulnerable executive functions and increase activity in brain regions in a high-risk group through increased cognitive and physical activity.
Eight community-dwelling, older female volunteers and nine matched wait-list controls were recruited to serve in the ongoing EC: Baltimore program in three elementary schools. We employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) preintervention and postintervention to examine whether EC volunteers improved executive function and showed increased activity in the prefrontal cortex relative to controls. fMRI volunteers were trained and placed with other volunteers 15 h/wk for 6 months during the academic year to assist teachers in kindergarten through third grade to promote children’s literacy and academic achievement.
Participants were African American and had low education, low income, and low Mini-Mental State Examination scores (M = 24), indicative of elevated risk for cognitive impairment. Volunteers exhibited intervention-specific increases in brain activity in the left prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex over the 6-month interval relative to matched controls. Neural gains were matched by behavioral improvements in executive inhibitory ability.
Using fMRI, we demonstrated intervention-specific short-term gains in executive function and in the activity of prefrontal cortical regions in older adults at elevated risk for cognitive impairment. These pilot results provide proof of concept for use-dependent brain plasticity in later life, and, that interventions designed to promote health and function through everyday activity may enhance plasticity in key regions that support executive function.
Prefrontal cortex; Executive function; fMRI; Aging; Social engagement
Preventing malaria by controlling mosquitoes in their larval stages requires regular sensitive monitoring of vector populations and intervention coverage. The study assessed the effectiveness of operational, community-based larval habitat surveillance systems within the Urban Malaria Control Programme (UMCP) in urban Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Cross-sectional surveys were carried out to assess the ability of community-owned resource persons (CORPs) to detect mosquito breeding sites and larvae in areas with and without larviciding. Potential environmental and programmatic determinants of habitat detection coverage and detection sensitivity of mosquito larvae were recorded during guided walks with 64 different CORPs to assess the accuracy of data each had collected the previous day.
CORPs reported the presence of 66.2% of all aquatic habitats (1,963/2,965), but only detected Anopheles larvae in 12.6% (29/230) of habitats that contained them. Detection sensitivity was particularly low for late-stage Anopheles (2.7%, 3/111), the most direct programmatic indicator of malaria vector productivity. Whether a CORP found a wet habitat or not was associated with his/her unfamiliarity with the area (Odds Ratio (OR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] = 0.16 [0.130, 0.203], P < 0.001), the habitat type (P < 0.001) or a fence around the compound (OR [95%CI] = 0.50 [0.386, 0.646], P < 0.001). The majority of mosquito larvae (Anophelines 57.8% (133/230) and Culicines 55.9% (461/825) were not reported because their habitats were not found. The only factor affecting detection of Anopheline larvae in habitats that were reported by CORPs was larviciding, which reduced sensitivity (OR [95%CI] = 0.37 [0.142, 0.965], P = 0.042).
Accessibility of habitats in urban settings presents a major challenge because the majority of compounds are fenced for security reasons. Furthermore, CORPs under-reported larvae especially where larvicides were applied. This UMCP system for larval surveillance in cities must be urgently revised to improve access to enclosed compounds and the sensitivity with which habitats are searched for larvae.
In western Kenya, malaria remains one of the major health problems and its control remains an important public health measure. Malaria control is by either use of drugs to treat patients infected with malaria parasites or by controlling the vectors. Vector control may target the free living adult or aquatic (larval) stages of mosquito. The most commonly applied control strategies target indoor resting mosquitoes. However, because mosquitoes spend a considerable time in water, targeting the aquatic stages can complement well with existing adult control measures.
Larval source management (LSM) of malaria vectors was examined in two villages i.e. Fort Ternan and Lunyerere, with the aim of testing strategies that can easily be accessed by the affected communities. Intervention strategies applied include environmental management through source reduction (drainage of canals, land levelling or by filling ditches with soil), habitat manipulation (by provision of shading from arrow root plant), application of Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis (Bti) and the use of predatory fish, Gambusia affinis. The abundance of immature stages of Anopheles and Culex within intervention habitats was compared to that within non-intervention habitats.
The findings show that in Fort Ternan no significant differences were observed in the abundance of Anopheles early and late instars between intervention and non-intervention habitats. In Lunyerere, the abundance of Anopheles early instars was fifty five times more likely to be present within non-intervention habitats than in habitats under drainage. No differences in early instars abundance were observed between non-intervention and habitats applied with Bti. However, late instars had 89 % and 91 % chance of being sampled from non-intervention rather than habitats under drainage and those applied with Bti respectively.
Most of these interventions were applied in habitats that arose due to human activities. Involvement of community members in control programs would be beneficial in the long term once they understand the role they play in malaria transmission. Apart from the need for communities to be educated on their role in malaria transmission, there is a need to develop and test strategies that can easily be accessed and hence be used by the affected communities. The proposed LSM strategies target outdoor immature mosquitoes and hence can complement well with control measures that target indoor resting vectors. Therefore inclusion of LSM in Integrated Vector Management (IVM) program would be beneficial.
Anopheles spp; Larval source management; Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis (Bti); Drainage; Gambusia affinis; Arrow root; Kenya
Aedes aegypti is one of the most important mosquito vectors of human disease. The development of spatial models for Ae. aegypti provides a promising start toward model-guided vector control and risk assessment, but this will only be possible if models make reliable predictions. The reliability of model predictions is affected by specific sources of uncertainty in the model.
This study quantifies uncertainties in the predicted mosquito population dynamics at the community level (a cluster of 612 houses) and the individual-house level based on Skeeter Buster, a spatial model of Ae. aegypti, for the city of Iquitos, Peru. The study considers two types of uncertainty: 1) uncertainty in the estimates of 67 parameters that describe mosquito biology and life history, and 2) uncertainty due to environmental and demographic stochasticity. Our results show that for pupal density and for female adult density at the community level, respectively, the 95% prediction confidence interval ranges from 1000 to 3000 and from 700 to 5,000 individuals. The two parameters contributing most to the uncertainties in predicted population densities at both individual-house and community levels are the female adult survival rate and a coefficient determining weight loss due to energy used in metabolism at the larval stage (i.e. metabolic weight loss). Compared to parametric uncertainty, stochastic uncertainty is relatively low for population density predictions at the community level (less than 5% of the overall uncertainty) but is substantially higher for predictions at the individual-house level (larger than 40% of the overall uncertainty). Uncertainty in mosquito spatial dispersal has little effect on population density predictions at the community level but is important for the prediction of spatial clustering at the individual-house level.
This is the first systematic uncertainty analysis of a detailed Ae. aegypti population dynamics model and provides an approach for identifying those parameters for which more accurate estimates would improve model predictions.
Dengue is one of the most important insect-vectored human viral diseases. The principal vector is Aedes aegypti, a mosquito that lives in close association with humans. Currently, there is no effective vaccine available and the only means for limiting dengue outbreaks is vector control. To help design vector control strategies, spatial models of Ae. aegypti population dynamics have been developed. However, the usefulness of such models depends on the reliability of their predictions, which can be affected by different sources of uncertainty including uncertainty in the model parameter estimation, uncertainty in the model structure, measurement errors in the data fed into the model, individual variability, and stochasticity in the environment. This study quantifies uncertainties in the mosquito population dynamics predicted by Skeeter Buster, a spatial model of Ae. aegypti, for the city of Iquitos, Peru. The uncertainty quantification should enable us to better understand the reliability of model predictions, improve Skeeter Buster and other similar models by targeting those parameters with high uncertainty contributions for further empirical research, and thereby decrease uncertainty in model predictions.