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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Development of a chimeric odour blend for attracting gravid malaria vectors

Wondwosen, Betelehem; Dawit, Mengistu; Debebe, Yared; Tekie, Habte; Hill, Sharon R.; Ignell, Rickard


BackgroundOdour-based tools targeting gravid malaria vectors may complement existing intervention strategies. Anopheles arabiensis are attracted to, and stimulated to oviposit by, natural and synthetic odours of wild and domesticated grasses associated with mosquito breeding sites. While such synthetic odour lures may be used for vector control, these may have limited efficacy when placed in direct competition with the natural source. In this study, workflows developed for plant-feeding pests was used to design and evaluate a chimeric odour blend based on shared attractive compounds found in domesticated grass odours.MethodsVariants of a synthetic odour blend, composed of shared bioactive compounds previously identified in domesticated grasses, was evaluated sequentially in a two-choice olfactometer to identify a ratio-optimized attractive blend for malaria vectors. During this process, blends with ratios that were significantly more attractive than the previously identified synthetic rice blend were compared to determine which was most attractive in the two-choice olfactometer. To determine whether all volatile components of the most attractive blend were necessary for maximal attraction, subtractive assays were then conducted, in which individual components were removed for the most attractive blend, to define the final composition of the chimeric blend. Binary logistic regression models were used to determine significance in all two-choice assays. The chimeric blend was then assessed under field conditions in malaria endemic villages in Ethiopia, to assess the effect of dose, trap type, and placement relative to ground level. Field data were analyzed both descriptively and using a Welch-corrected t-test.ResultsA ratio-optimized chimeric blend was identified that significantly attracted gravid An. arabiensis under laboratory conditions. In the field, trap captures of An. arabiensis and Anopheles pharoensis were dependent on the presence of the lure, trap type (CDC, BG Sentinel and Suna traps), placement relevant to ground level, with low release rates generally luring more mosquitoes.ConclusionsThe workflow designed for the development of chimeric lures provides an innovative strategy to target odour-mediated behaviours. The chimeric lure identified here can be used in existing trapping systems, and be customized to increase sustainability, in line with goals of the Global Vector Control Response Group.


Chimeric; Odour; Chemical ecology; Anopheles; Vector; Mosquito; Control; Grass

Published in

Malaria Journal
2021, Volume: 20, number: 1, article number: 262
Publisher: BMC