Perception and interaction of mosquitoes with topical repellents and insecticide-treated nets
Mathurin Fatou, University of Basel
Among the existing means to protect from mosquito bites, two important methods of personal protection are long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and skin-applied or “topical” repellents. Repellency and feeding inhibition effects of LLINs is assessed in the World Health Organization (WHO) tunnel test, while repellents efficacy is evaluated in the arm-in-cage (AIC). The tunnel test only provides an endpoint measurement of feeding inhibition over time but no insight into how the mosquitoes actually interact with the insecticide-treated surface, while the AIC test may underestimate the effectiveness of a repellent when compared to field conditions. Thus, knowing how mosquitoes interact with insecticides on LLINs and how mosquitoes perceive topical repellents would be desirable because the behaviour could be exploited to improve testing, formulations and delivery of these pesticides. In this respect, the mosquito behaviour will be measured using a three-dimension (3D) infrared video tracking system to record and quantify mosquito flight paths. Three repellents and three insecticides will be tested in arm-in-cage (AIC) test and tunnel test, respectively, with the help of volunteers. Then, the three repellents will be tested in the field in Human Landing Catch test.
Keywords: Insecticide-treated net, topical repellents, tunnel test, arm-in-cage test, human landing catch test, mosquito behaviour, video tracking
I started a PhD in epidemiology at the University of Basel, based at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. I hold an MSc in “Microbiology and biological engineering” from the University of Paris-Saclay. During my master, I explored the field of hematophagous arthropods by doing two internships abroad: I worked on ticks behaviour at the Institute of Biology at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland; and on mosquitoes salivary proteins atthe Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. I would like to contribute to the fight against the vector-borne diseases by better understanding vector behaviour and vector control measures.