Eave ribbons treated with transfluthrin can protect both users and non-users against malaria vectors.Malar J. 2019 Sep 18; 18(1):314.MJ
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.
Five experimental huts were constructed inside a 110 m long, screened tunnel, in which 1000 Anopheles arabiensis were released nightly. Eave ribbons treated with 0.25 g/m2 transfluthrin were fitted to 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 huts, achieving 0, 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100% coverage, respectively. Volunteers sat near each hut and collected mosquitoes attempting to bite them from 6 to 10 p.m. (outdoor-biting), then went indoors to sleep under untreated bed nets, beside which CDC-light traps collected mosquitoes from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (indoor-biting). Caged mosquitoes kept inside the huts were monitored for 24 h-mortality. Separately, eave ribbons, UV-LED mosquito traps (Mosclean) or both the ribbons and traps were fitted, each time leaving the central hut unfitted to represent non-user households and assess communal protection. Biting risk was measured concurrently in all huts, before and after introducing interventions.
Transfluthrin-treated eave ribbons provided 83% and 62% protection indoors and outdoors respectively to users, plus 57% and 48% protection indoors and outdoors to the non-user. Protection for users remained constant, but protection for non-users increased with eave ribbons coverage, peaking once 80% of huts were fitted. Mortality of mosquitoes caged inside huts with eave ribbons was 100%. The UV-LED traps increased indoor exposure to users and non-users, but marginally reduced outdoor-biting. Combining the traps and eave ribbons did not improve user protection relative to eave ribbons alone.
Transfluthrin-treated eave ribbons protect both users and non-users against malaria mosquitoes indoors and outdoors. The mosquito-killing property of transfluthrin can magnify the communal benefits by limiting unwanted diversion to non-users, but should be validated in field trials against pyrethroid-resistant vectors. Benefits of the UV-LED traps as an intervention alone or alongside eave ribbons were however undetectable in this study. These findings extend the evidence that transfluthrin-treated eave ribbons could complement ITNs.