LSTM Home > LSTM Research > LSTM Online Archive

A minimal 3D model of mosquito flight behaviour around the human baited bed net

Jones, Jeff, Murray, Gregory and McCall, Philip ORCID: (2021) 'A minimal 3D model of mosquito flight behaviour around the human baited bed net'. Malaria Journal, Vol 20, Issue 24.

Jones et al INVECTS Mal J 2021.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB) | Preview


Advances in digitized video-tracking and behavioural analysis have enabled accurate recording and quantification of mosquito flight and host-seeking behaviours, facilitating development of individual (agent) based models at much finer spatial scales than previously possible.

Quantified behavioural parameters were used to create a novel virtual testing model, capable of accurately simulating indoor flight behaviour by a virtual population of host-seeking mosquitoes as they interact with and respond to simulated stimuli from a human-occupied bed net. The model is described, including base mosquito behaviour, state transitions, environmental representation and host stimulus representation.

In the absence of a bed net and human host bait, flight distribution of the model population was relatively uniform throughout the arena. Introducing an unbaited untreated bed net induced a change in distribution with an increase in landing events on the net surface, predominantly on the sides of the net. Adding the presence of a simulated human bait dramatically impacted flight distribution patterns, exploratory foraging and, the number and distribution of landing positions on the net, which were determined largely by the orientation of the human within. The model replicates experimental results with free-flying living mosquitoes at human-occupied bed nets, where contact occurs predominantly on the top surface of the net. This accuracy is important as it quantifies exposure to the lethal insecticide residues that may be unique to the net roof (or theoretically any other surface). Number of net contacts and height of contacts decreased with increasing attractant dispersal noise.

Results generated by the model are an accurate representation of actual mosquito behaviour recorded at and around a human-occupied bed net in untreated and insecticide-treated nets. This fine-grained model is highly flexible and has significant potential for in silico screening of novel bed net designs, potentially reducing time and cost and accelerating the deployment of new and more effective tools for protecting against malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > QX 4 General works
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 510 Mosquitoes
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 600 Insect control. Tick control
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Samantha Sheldrake
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2021 10:08
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2021 10:08


View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item