Mosquito electrocuting traps for directly measuring biting rates and host-preferences of Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles funestus outdoors

Meza, F. C., Kreppel, K. S., Maliti, D. F., Mlwale, A. T., Mirzai, N., Killeen, G. F., Ferguson, H. M. and Govella, N. J. (2019) Mosquito electrocuting traps for directly measuring biting rates and host-preferences of Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles funestus outdoors. Malaria Journal, 18, 83. (doi: 10.1186/s12936-019-2726-x)

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Abstract

Background: Mosquito biting rates and host preferences are crucial determinants of human exposure to vectorborne diseases and the impact of vector control measures. The human landing catch (HLC) is a gold standard method for measuring human exposure to bites, but presents risks to participants by requiring some exposure to mosquito vectors. Mosquito electrocuting traps (METs) represent an exposure-free alternative to HLCs for measuring human exposure to malaria vectors. However, original MET prototypes were too small for measuring whole-body biting rates on humans or large animals like cattle. Here a much larger MET capable of encompassing humans or cattle was designed, and its performance was evaluated relative to both the original small MET and HLC and for quantifying malaria vector host preferences. Methods: Human landing catch, small human-baited METs (MET-SH), and large METs baited with either a human (MET-LH) or calves (MET-LC) were simultaneously used to capture wild malaria vectors outdoors in rural southern Tanzania. The four capture methods were compared in a Latin-square design over 20 nights. Malaria vector host preferences were estimated through comparison of the number of mosquitoes caught by large METs baited with either humans or cattle. Results: The MET-LH caught more than twice as many Anopheles arabiensis than either the MET-SH or HLC. It also caught higher number of Anopheles funestus sensu lato (s.l.) compared to the MET-SH or HLC. Similar numbers of An. funestus sensu stricto (s.s.) were caught in MET-LH and MET-SH collections. Catches of An. arabiensis with human or cattle-baited large METs were similar, indicating no clear preference for either host. In contrast, An. funestus s.s. exhibited a strong, but incomplete preference for humans. Conclusions: METs are a sensitive, practical tool for assessing mosquito biting rates and host preferences, and represent a safer alternative to the HLC. Additionally these fndings suggest the HLC underestimate whole-body human exposure. MET collections indicated the An. funestus s.s. population in this setting had a higher than expected attack rate on cattle, potentially making eliminating of this species more difiicult with human-targeted control measures. Supplementary vector control tools targeted at livestock may be required to effectively tackle this species.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the European Union through the African Vector Control: New tool award (Award Number 265660) coordinated by Prof. Hilary Ranson at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Wellcome Trust (Research Training Fellowship Number 102368/Z/13/Z) awarded to NJG.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mirzai, Mr Nosrat and Kreppel, Dr Katharina and Ferguson, Professor Heather and Govella, Dr Nico
Authors: Meza, F. C., Kreppel, K. S., Maliti, D. F., Mlwale, A. T., Mirzai, N., Killeen, G. F., Ferguson, H. M., and Govella, N. J.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QL Zoology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Malaria Journal
Publisher:BMC
ISSN:1475-2875
ISSN (Online):1475-2875
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Malaria Journal 18:83
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
539231AvecNet - African Vector Control: New toolsHeather FergusonEuropean Commission (EC)N/ARI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED