Residents of malaria-endemic communities spend several hours outdoors performing different activities, e.g. cooking, story-telling or eating, thereby exposing themselves to potentially-infectious mosquitoes. This compromises effectiveness of indoor interventions, notably long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS). This study characterized common peri-domestic spaces in rural south-eastern Tanzania, and assessed protective efficacy against mosquitoes of hessian fabric mats and ribbons treated with the spatial repellent, transfluthrin, and fitted to chairs and outdoor kitchens, respectively.
The complexity of mosquito-borne diseases poses a major challenge to global health efforts to mitigate their impact on people residing in sub-tropical and tropical regions, to travellers and deployed military personnel. To supplement drug- and vaccine-based disease control programmes, other strategies are urgently needed, including the direct control of disease vectors. Modern vector control research generally focuses on identifying novel active ingredients and/or innovative methods to reduce human-mosquito interactions. These efforts include the evaluation of spatial repellents, which are compounds capable of altering mosquito feeding behaviour without direct contact with the chemical source.
Many subsistence farmers in rural southeastern Tanzania regularly relocate to distant farms in river valleys to tend to crops for several weeks or months each year. While there, they live in makeshift semi-open structures, usually far from organized health systems and where insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) do not provide adequate protection. This study evaluated the potential of a recently developed technology, eave ribbons treated with the spatial repellent transfluthrin, for protecting migratory rice farmers in rural southeastern Tanzania against indoor-biting and outdoor-biting mosquitoes.
Eave ribbons treated with spatial repellents effectively prevent human exposure to outdoor-biting and indoor-biting malaria mosquitoes, and could constitute a scalable and low-cost supplement to current interventions, such as insecticide-treated nets (ITNs). This study measured protection afforded by transfluthrin-treated eave ribbons to users (personal and communal protection) and non-users (only communal protection), and whether introducing mosquito traps as additional intervention influenced these benefits.