Recent entomological field results from Project BITE under IVCC’s Indo-Pacific Initiative (IPI) have shown that forest packs containing bite prevention tools offer significant protection from landing mosquitoes. The results come from trials that UCSF-MEI, IVCC’s lead partner on BITE, conducted in Mondulkiri province, Cambodia, with the local non-profit Health Forefront Organization.
The entomological trials were conducted in an area directly adjacent to forest and was comprised of 7 temporary shelters designed to mimic short-term dwellings used by people when working or travelling in the forest. Inside each shelter, one of the bite prevention tools, or a combination of all tools, or a control, were used while volunteers collected mosquitoes via Human Landing Catches (HLC) over a 12-hour period.
Over 49 nights of collections, the entomological field study demonstrated that all products – both on their own and in combination – are highly efficacious at preventing mosquitoes from landing. In fact, all products and combinations reduced mosquito landings by at least 60% compared to the control, while the spatial repellent alone and the combination of all products reduced landings by approximately 95%.
Project BITE aims to evaluate the effectiveness of forest packs containing a spatial emanator, topical repellent, and insecticide-treated clothing when deployed to forest dwellers, goers, and rangers in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Semi-field trials completed in Thailand in 2021 demonstrated that bite prevention tools not only prevent mosquitoes from landing but can also kill and delay host-seeking.
Following the entomological field studies, Project BITE is currently planning on how best to scale-up use of these tools and further evaluate their epidemiological impact, acceptability, use and cost-effectiveness among high-risk forest-exposed populations.
IVCC and its partners are hopeful that the evidence generated by BITE will help make the case to national programmes and donors on the effectiveness of bite prevention tools delivered in forest packs in the fight against outdoor malaria transmission.