Pilot field study to test a push-pull strategy for malaria vector control.

In this project we evaluated the impact of a repellent “push” to divert malaria mosquitoes from houses and an attractant “pull” to remove mosquitoes from the environment in 12 standardized experimental houses specifically built for the project, occupied by families in a rice-farming village of western Kenya. The field work was implemented between May 2016 and June 2017. Preliminary data analyses shows that push-pull reduced house entry rates of An. gambiae s.l. and An. funestus, the two major malaria vectors species in Kenya by >50%. For An. funestus there was evidence of a synergistic effect between the push and the pull interventions, with outdoor traps collecting nearly double the number of vectors when used in combination with spatial repellents compared to when traps were used alone. This is the first time that push-pull for malaria vector control has been evaluated under a typical household setting and the results indicate that the intervention could form a promising new tool for the control of malaria mosquitoes, particularly in regions where mosquitoes are outdoor or early evening biting and where resistance to pyrethroid insecticides has been reported. Final data analysis for this project is currently ongoing.

Dr. U. Fillinger PI.

Donor: BMGF, Grand Challenges Exploration Grant.

Collaboration: Wageningen University, The Netherlands (PI: Alex Hiscox, icipe Visiting Scientist). 2016-2017.