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Development and evaluation of mosquito-electrocuting traps as alternatives to the human landing catch technique for sampling host-seeking malaria vectors

Maliti, D. V., Govella, N. J., Killeen, G. F., Mirzai, N., Johnson, P. C. D., Kreppel, K. and Ferguson, H. M. (2015) Development and evaluation of mosquito-electrocuting traps as alternatives to the human landing catch technique for sampling host-seeking malaria vectors. Malaria Journal, 14 (1). ISSN 1475-2875

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Abstract

Background
The human landing catch (HLC) is the gold standard method for sampling host-seeking malaria vectors. However, the HLC is ethically questionable because it requires exposure of humans to potentially infectious mosquito bites.

Methods
Two exposure-free methods for sampling host-seeking mosquitoes were evaluated using electrocuting surfaces as potential replacements for HLC: (1) a previously evaluated, commercially available electrocuting grid (CA-EG) designed for killing flies, and (2) a custom-made mosquito electrocuting trap (MET) designed to kill African malaria vectors. The MET and the CA-EG were evaluated relative to the HLC in a Latin Square experiment conducted in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania. The sampling consistency of the traps across the night and at varying mosquito densities was investigated. Estimates of the proportion of mosquitoes caught indoors (P i ), proportion of human exposure occurring indoors (π i ), and proportion of mosquitoes caught when most people are likely to be indoors (P fl ) were compared for all traps.

Results
Whereas the CA-EG performed poorly (<10 % of catch of HLC), sampling efficiency of the MET for sampling Anopheles funestus s.l. was indistinguishable from HLC indoors and outdoors. For Anopheles gambiae s.l., sampling sensitivity of MET was 20.9 % (95 % CI 10.3–42.2) indoors and 58.5 % (95 % CI 32.2–106.2) outdoors relative to HLC. There was no evidence of density-dependent sampling by the MET or CA-EG. Similar estimates of P i were obtained for An. gambiae s.l. and An. funestus s.l. from all trapping methods. The proportion of mosquitoes caught when people are usually indoors (P fl ) was underestimated by the CA-EG and MET for An. gambiae s.l., but similar to the HLC for An. funestus. Estimates of the proportion of human exposure occurring indoors (π i ) obtained from the CA-EG and MET were similar to the HLC for An. gambiae s.l., but overestimated for An. funestus.

Conclusions
The MET showed promise as an outdoor sampling tool for malaria vectors where it achieved >50 % sampling sensitivity relative to the HLC. The CA-EG had poor sampling sensitivity outdoors and inside. With further modification, the MET could provide an efficient and safer alternative to the HLC for the surveillance of mosquito vectors outdoors.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Mosquito electrocuting trap; Human landing catch; Mosquito behaviour; Vector sampling tools; Outdoor biting; Malaria; Anopheles arabiensis ; Anopheles gambiae s.l.; Anopheles funestus s.l.
Subjects: Climate & environment
Malaria > Vector control
Divisions: Ifakara Health Institute > Environmental
Depositing User: Digital Library Manager
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2015 08:47
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2015 08:52
URI: http://ihi.eprints.org/id/eprint/3510

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