Participatory development of practical, affordable, insecticide-treated mosquito proofing for a range of housing designs in rural southern Tanzania

Malar J. 2022 Nov 5;21(1):318. doi: 10.1186/s12936-022-04333-0.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Insecticidal mosquito-proof netting screens could combine the best features of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS), the two most important front line vector control interventions in Africa today, and also overcome the most important limitations of these methods. This study engaged members of a rural Tanzanian community in developing and evaluating simple, affordable and scalable procedures for installing readily available screening materials on eave gaps and windows of their own houses, and then treating those screens with a widely used IRS formulation of the organophosphate insecticide pirimiphos-methyl (PM).

METHODS: A cohort of 54 households recruited upon consent, following which the structural features and occupant demographics of their houses were surveyed. Indoor mosquito densities were surveyed longitudinally, for approximately 3 months before and over 5 months after participatory house modification and screening using locally available materials. Each house was randomly assigned to one of three study arms: (1) No screens installed until the end of the study (negative control), (2) untreated screens installed, and (3) screened installed and then treated with PM, the insecticidal activity of which was subsequently assessed using standard cone assays.

RESULTS: Almost all (52) recruited households participated until the end, at which point all houses had been successfully screened. In most cases, screening was only installed after making enabling structural modifications that were accepted by the enrolled households. Compared to unscreened houses, houses with either treated or untreated screens both almost entirely excluded Anopheles arabiensis (Relative reduction (RR) ≥ 98%, P < < 0.0001), the most abundant local malaria vector. However, screens were far less effective against Culex quinquefasciatus (RR ≤ 46%, P < < 0.0001), a non-malaria vector causing considerable biting nuisance, regardless of their treatment status. While PM did not augment household level protection by screens against either mosquito species (P = 0.676 and 0.831, respectively), 8 months after treatment it still caused 73% and 89% mortality among susceptible insectary-reared Anopheles gambiae following exposures of 3 and 30 min, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Participatory approaches to mosquito proofing houses may be acceptable and effective, and installed screens may be suitable targets for residual insecticide treatments.

PMID:36335363 | DOI:10.1186/s12936-022-04333-0

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