Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A breakthrough in combating malaria with odor-baited trap for mosquitoes

10.08.2016

Beating malaria without using insecticides is 1 step closer -- by installing solar powered odor-baited traps next to traditional houses in Kenya, mosquito populations declined steeply and malaria was significantly reduced

The use of a newly-developed mosquito trap incorporating human odour has resulted in a 70% decline in the population of the most significant malaria mosquito on the Kenyan island of Rusinga.


The infographic shows how the odor baited traps catches malaria mosquitoes and lower the general mosquito density in the area.

Credit: Wageningen University

After the introduction of the odour-baited traps on the island the proportion of people with malaria was 30% lower among those living in houses with a trap compared to people living in houses who were yet to receive a trap. The study was published today in The Lancet, a leading scientific journal.

Prof. Willem Takken led the three-year study with Wageningen University scientists and researchers from the Kenyan International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH).

"The objective of the trial on Rusinga Island in Lake Victoria was to investigate whether malaria mosquitoes can be captured and destroyed using traps with a lure so that the risk of new malaria infections is minimised," explains Willem Takken.

"Ultimately we want to eradicate malaria completely, in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable manner. In the case of extensive use of insecticides to kill the mosquitoes which are the carriers of the disease, the mosquitoes become resistant to the chemicals. That makes combating malaria increasingly tricky and less environmentally-friendly.

Alternative methods are therefore urgently needed. As we use a natural lure - namely human odour - in our approach there is no negative impact on the environment and it is very improbable that the mosquitoes will become 'resistant' to being captured. After all, the mosquitoes need their attraction to the lure in order to be able to survive."

Zika and dengue fever

The odour-baited trap may also offer a solution to diseases like dengue fever and the Zika virus. Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito), is a vector for these viruses. This mosquito is attracted to the same humanised scent that attracts malaria mosquitoes. Zika and dengue fever could therefore be combated with the odour-baited traps.

Better living conditions

The success of the new approach is the combination of the odour-baited trap with mosquito nets, anti-malaria drugs, and a solid social strategy. The odour-baited traps need electricity to operate, but there is no central electricity supply on Rusinga, an island in Lake Victoria. Solar panels were installed on the roofs of homes. These not only provided electricity for the mosquito traps but also provided the homes with power for light and to charge a mobile phone. The use of solar energy to control malaria gave rise to the project name: SolarMal. Great efforts were also made in relation to education about malaria and actively engaging the inhabitants of Rusinga in the project. Thanks to this combined approach, all 25,000 inhabitants of Rusinga participated in the study. When the odour-baited traps are used, the use of insecticides to combat the mosquito population can be minimised, thus avoiding any harmful side effects of such products. The Wageningen anti-malaria approach therefore has positive effects in reducing the spread of malaria as well as positive effects on the living conditions of the population.

Malaria: a major cause of death and an economic problem

Every minute, a child dies of malaria. This disease costs Africa twelve billion dollars a year in health-care costs and lost productivity, particularly in the agricultural sector. Fighting malaria without using insecticides is vital to world food production. "The effect of the disease on agricultural production is hugely underestimated," says Willem Takken. "As children with malaria need access to hospital care, their parents cannot work on the land and as a result food production rates decline. If those parents themselves also suffer from malaria infections four or five times a year, they are also not able to work for around six weeks. In such cases, extra labour needs to be brought in or the crop will be lost. An African household loses 10% of its annual incomes through malaria. It is for good reason that reducing the prevalence of malaria was included in the ten millennium development goals formulated by the UN."

The World Health Organization (WHO) is aiming to eradicate malaria by 2030. To this end, investments are being made in the development of vaccines against the parasite and in combating the vectors of the parasite: the mosquitoes. The odour-baited trap - named 'the Suna trap' - represents an effective and safe solution in the fight against the mosquito.

Media Contact

Jac Niessen
jac.niessen@wur.nl
31-317-485-003

 @uniwageningen

http://www.wageningenur.nl/uk 

Jac Niessen | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>