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Laboratory and experimental hut evaluation of a long-lasting insecticide treated blanket for protection against mosquitoes

Background: Long-lasting insecticide treated blankets (LLIBs) may provide additional protection against malaria where use of long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) is low or impractical such as in disaster or emergency situations. Methods: Initial efficacy testing of a new candidate LLIB was carried out at LSHTM and KCMUCo, before and after washing, in cone and ball bioassays and arm-in-cage tests against pyrethroid susceptible Anopheles gambiae. A small scale field trial was conducted using veranda-trap experimental huts in northern Tanzania against wild An. arabiensis and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes. Treatments included unwashed and 5 times washed permethrin treated LLIB and blankets hand-treated with permethrin (ITB), untreated blankets, and a holed unwashed Olyset net. Results: Cone test mortality was 75% for LLIB when unwashed, but decreased to 32% after 5 washes and <10% after 10 washes. In arm-in-cage tests protection against biting was 100% for LLIBs regardless of the number of washes while reduction in landings was 79% when unwashed, 75% after 5 washes, but declined to 41% after 10 and 33% after 20 washes. In ball bioassays using pyrethroid resistant An. arabiensis, mortality was low in all treatments (<35%) and there was no significant difference in mortality between Olyset net, LLIB or ITB (p > 0.05). Percentage mortality of An. arabiensis in huts with LLIB unwashed (26%) was not statistically different to Olyset net (31%, p = 0.5). The 5 times washed LLIB reduced blood-feeding by 49% which was equivalent to Olyset net (p > 0.086). There was no significant difference in percentage blood-feeding between LLIB and ITB unwashed or 5 times washed (p = 0.147 and p = 0.346 respectively). The 5 times washed LLIB reduced blood-feeding of Culex quinquefasciatus by 40%, although the Olyset provided the greatest protection with 85% inhibition. ELISA analysis of a sub-sample of blood fed mosquitoes showed that not all had fed on humans in the huts, therefore blood-feeding inhibition may have been underestimated. Conclusions: This trial demonstrated the potential of LLIBs to provide substantial personal protection even against pyrethroid resistant mosquitoes. LLIBs may prove particularly useful where LLINs are unsuitable or net usage is low


Kitau, J., Oxborough, R., Kaye, A., Chen-Hussey, V., Isaacs, E., Matowo, J., ... Logan, J. (2014). Laboratory and experimental hut evaluation of a long-lasting insecticide treated blanket for protection against mosquitoes. Parasites & Vectors, 7, 129. https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-7-129

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