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Video augmentation of the WHO cone assay to quantify mosquito behavioural responses to insecticide-treated nets

Jones, Jeff, Matope, Agnes, Barreaux, Priscille, Gleave, Katherine, Steen, Keith ORCID:, Ranson, Hilary ORCID:, McCall, Philip ORCID: and Foster, Geraldine ORCID: (2023) 'Video augmentation of the WHO cone assay to quantify mosquito behavioural responses to insecticide-treated nets'. Parasites & Vectors, Vol 16, Issue 1, e420.

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Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) using pyrethroids have been the main vector control tools deployed in malaria endemic countries and are responsible for the dramatic reduction in African malaria cases in the early 2000s. The World Health Organization (WHO) cone test was designed to assess the rapid toxicity effects of pyrethroid exposure on mosquito vectors but has yielded no insights beyond 60-min knockdown and 24-h mortality. As dual-active-ingredient (AI) ITNs become more widespread, bioassays that can provide realistic assessment of single- and dual-treated ITNs (i.e. nets with more than one active ingredient) are urgently needed.

We present an augmentation of the cone test that enables accurate quantification of vector behavioural responses (specifically movement, spatial and temporal occupancy) to ITNs using video recording and bespoke software that uses background segmentation methods to detect spatial changes in the movement of mosquitoes within the cone. Four strains of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) were exposed to four ITNs (PermaNet 2.0, PermaNet 3.0, Olyset Net, Interceptor G2) and untreated nets in these modified cone tests. Life history data (post-exposure blood-feeding, blood meal weight, longevity) for individual mosquitoes were recorded.

All mosquitoes responded to the presence of ITNs, spending from 1.48 to 3.67 times more time in the upper region of the cone, depending on the ITN type. Of all ITNs, PermaNet 2.0 provoked the smallest change in behavioural response. Activity in the cone influenced observed post-exposure longevity, and in resistant strains exposed to Interceptor G2, the higher the activity, the greater the risk of dying, as long as the proportion of activity at the net surface was less than 50%. All ITNs inhibited blood-feeding, and smaller blood meals were taken when mosquitoes fed.

The additional mosquito behaviour data obtained by using this modification to the WHO cone test provides unique insight into the innate responses of different mosquito strains on untreated nets and the entomological mode of action of ITNs, important evidence when evaluating ITN characteristics.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 510 Mosquitoes
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2023 11:35
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2023 11:35


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