Background: Based on highly successful demonstrations in Israel that attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB) methods can decimate local populations of mosquitoes, this study determined the effectiveness of ATSB methods for malaria vector control in the semi-arid Bandiagara District of Mali, West Africa. Methods: Control and treatment sites, selected along a road that connects villages, contained man-made ponds that were the primary larval habitats of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles arabiensis. Guava and honey melons, two local fruits shown to be attractive to An. gambiae s.l., were used to prepare solutions of Attractive Sugar Bait (ASB) and ATSB that additionally contained boric acid as an oral insecticide. Both included a color dye marker to facilitate determination of mosquitoes feeding on the solutions. The trial was conducted over a 38-day period, using CDC light traps to monitor mosquito populations. On day 8, ASB solution in the control site and ATSB solution in the treatment site were sprayed using a hand-pump on patches of vegetation. Samples of female mosquitoes were age-graded to determine the impact of ATSB treatment on vector longevity. Results: Immediately after spraying ATSB in the treatment site, the relative abundance of female and male An. gambiae s.l. declined about 90% from pre-treatment levels and remained low. In the treatment site, most females remaining after ATSB treatment had not completed a single gonotrophic cycle, and only 6% had completed three or more gonotrophic cycles compared with 37% pre-treatment. In the control site sprayed with ASB (without toxin), the proportion of females completing three or more gonotrophic cycles increased from 28.5% pre-treatment to 47.5% post-treatment. In the control site, detection of dye marker in over half of the females and males provided direct evidence that the mosquitoes were feeding on the sprayed solutions. Conclusion: This study in Mali shows that even a single application of ATSB can substantially decrease malaria vector population densities and longevity. It is likely that ATSB methods can be used as a new powerful tool for the control of malaria vectors, particularly since this approach is highly effective for mosquito control, technologically simple, inexpensive, and environmentally safe.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases