Eave tubes for malaria control in Africa: a modelling assessment of potential impact on transmission.
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BACKGROUND: Novel interventions for malaria control are necessary in the face of problems such as increasing insecticide resistance and residual malaria transmission. One way to assess performance prior to deployment in the field is through mathematical modelling. Modelled here are a range of potential outcomes for eave tubes, a novel mosquito control tool combining house screening and targeted use of insecticides to provide both physical protection and turn the house into a lethal mosquito killing device. METHODS: The effect of eave tubes was modelled by estimating the reduction of infectious mosquito bites relative to no intervention (a transmission metric defined as relative transmission potential, RTP). The model was used to assess how RTP varied with coverage when eave tubes were used as a stand-alone intervention, or in combination with either bed nets (LLINs) or indoor residual spraying (IRS). RESULTS: The model indicated the impact of eave tubes on transmission increases non-linearly as coverage increases, suggesting a community level benefit. For example, based on realistic assumptions, just 30 % coverage resulted in around 70 % reduction in overall RTP (i.e. there was a benefit for those houses without eave tubes). Increasing coverage to around 70 % reduced overall RTP by >90 %. Eave tubes exhibited some redundancy with existing interventions, such that combining interventions within properties did not give reductions in RTP equal to the sum of those provided by deploying each intervention singly. However, combining eave tubes and either LLINs or IRS could be extremely effective if the technologies were deployed in a non-overlapping way. CONCLUSION: Using predictive models to assess the benefit of new technologies has great value, and is especially pertinent prior to conducting expensive, large scale, randomized controlled trials. The current modelling study indicates eave tubes have considerable potential to impact malaria transmission if deployed at scale and can be used effectively with existing tools, especially if they are combined strategically with, for example, IRS and eave tubes targeting different houses.
This work was supported by European Union Seventh Framework Programme Grant 306105, FP7-HEALTH-2012-INNOVATION-1.
Vol. 15, Article no. 449
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