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Potential benefits, limitations and target product-profiles of odor-baited mosquito traps for malaria control in Africa.

Okumu, F. O., Govella, N. J., Moore, S. J., Chitnis, N. and Killeen, G. F. (2010) Potential benefits, limitations and target product-profiles of odor-baited mosquito traps for malaria control in Africa. PloS one, 5 (7). pp. 1-18. ISSN 1932-6203

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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.


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.


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.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Malaria Control, Mosquito, Malaria transmission, malaria traps, Malaria prevention, Africa, odor-baited mosquito
Subjects: Malaria > Vector control
Divisions: Ifakara Health Institute > Biomedical
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2012 09:35
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2012 15:57

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