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Effects of vegetation densities on the performance of attractive targeted sugar baits (ATSBs) for malaria vector control: a semi-field study

Muyaga, Letus L., Meza, Felician C., Kahamba, Najat F., Njalambaha, Rukiyah M., Msugupakulya, Betwel, Kaindoa, Emmanuel W., Ngowo, Halfan S. and Okumu, Fredros O. (2023) 'Effects of vegetation densities on the performance of attractive targeted sugar baits (ATSBs) for malaria vector control: a semi-field study'. Malaria Journal, Vol 22, Issue 1, e190.

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Attractive targeted sugar baits (ATSBs) control sugar-feeding mosquitoes with oral toxicants, and may effectively complement core malaria interventions, such as insecticide-treated nets even where pyrethroid-resistance is widespread. The technology is particularly efficacious in arid and semi-arid areas. However, their performance remains poorly-understood in tropical areas with year-round malaria transmission, and where the abundant vegetation constitutes competitive sugar sources for mosquitoes. This study compared the efficacies of ATSBs (active ingredient: 2% boric acid) in controlled settings with different vegetation densities.

Potted mosquito-friendly plants were introduced inside semi-field chambers (9.6 m by 9.6 m) to simulate densely-vegetated, sparsely-vegetated, and bare sites without any vegetation (two chambers/category). All chambers had volunteer-occupied huts. Laboratory-reared Anopheles arabiensis were released nightly (200/chamber) and host-seeking females recaptured using human landing catches outdoors (8.00 p.m.–9.00 p.m.) and CDC-light traps indoors (9.00 p.m.–6.00 a.m.). Additionally, resting mosquitoes were collected indoors and outdoors each morning using Prokopack aspirators. The experiments included a “before-and-after” set-up (with pre-ATSBs, ATSBs and post-ATSBs phases per chamber), and a “treatment vs. control” set-up (where similar chambers had ATSBs or no ATSBs). The experiments lasted 84 trap-nights.

In the initial tests when all chambers had no vegetation, the ATSBs reduced outdoor-biting by 69.7%, indoor-biting by 79.8% and resting mosquitoes by 92.8%. In tests evaluating impact of vegetation, the efficacy of ATSBs against host-seeking mosquitoes was high in bare chambers (outdoors: 64.1% reduction; indoors: 46.8%) but modest or low in sparsely-vegetated (outdoors: 34.5%; indoors: 26.2%) and densely-vegetated chambers (outdoors: 25.4%; indoors: 16.1%). Against resting mosquitoes, the ATSBs performed modestly across settings (non-vegetated chambers: 37.5% outdoors and 38.7% indoors; sparsely-vegetated: 42.9% outdoors and 37.5% indoors; densely-vegetated: 45.5% outdoors and 37.5% indoors). Vegetation significantly reduced the ATSBs efficacies against outdoor-biting and indoor-biting mosquitoes but not resting mosquitoes.

While vegetation can influence the performance of ATSBs, the devices remain modestly efficacious in both sparsely-vegetated and densely-vegetated settings. Higher efficacies may occur in places with minimal or completely no vegetation, but such environments are naturally unlikely to sustain Anopheles populations or malaria transmission in the first place. Field studies therefore remain necessary to validate the efficacies of ATSBs in the tropics.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 510 Mosquitoes
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2023 09:44
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2023 09:44


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