Washington: A disease control centre developed an Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap (AGO trap) that attracts and captures female mosquitoes looking for a site to lay eggs. Researchers reported that AGO traps successfully protected people from chikungunya virus.
The lack of effective tools to control Aedes aegypti mosquito populations has resulted in the continued expansion of dengue virus, Zika virus and chikungunya virus. Some recent attempts at curbing mosquito populations have resulted in reductions in mosquito density but not reductions in human disease.
AGO traps consist of a pail with hay and water to attract egg-bearing female mosquitos and a sticky lining to which the insects adhere. Previous studies have shown that placing three AGO traps outside of 85% of homes in a community resulted in an 80% reduction in adult mosquito populations but the studies did not assess rates of mosquito-borne diseases in humans, reported the study published in the journal of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The researchers randomly selected 290 households in Puerto Rican communities that had AGO trap interventions and 349 households in communities without AGO traps. 175 household members from intervention communities and 152 from non-intervention communities were enrolled in the study.
Blood samples were collected from each participant to detect chikungunya virus infection and surveys recorded demographic information as well as data on mosquito repellent and bed net use and frequency of mosquito bites.
A total of 114 participants (34.9%) were seropositive for the chikungunya virus. Among people who spent most of their daytime hours inside the community they lived in, 10.3% were seropositive for chikungunya virus in communities with AGO traps whereas 48.7% were positive for chikungunya virus in communities without traps. Among all participants, including those who did not spend as much daylight time within the community, 26.1% were seropositive for chikungunya virus in the intervention communities and 43.8% were positive in communities without traps.
“AGO traps are a novel chemical-free, effective approach to control Ae. aegypti populations and provide protection from infection with the pathogens that these mosquitoes transmit. Further evaluations should determine if AGO traps are sustainable and effective in larger-scale community trials,” said one of the researchers of the study.