Background: Malaria is the 4(th) largest cause of mortality in Madagascar. To better understand malaria transmission dynamics, it is crucial to map the distribution of the malaria vectors, mosquitoes belonging to the genus Anopheles. To do so, it is important to have a strong Anopheles-specific lure to ensure the maximum number of captures. Previous studies have isolated volatiles from the human skin microbiota and found the compound 3-methyl-1-butanol to be the most attractive to the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, in a laboratory setting; and recommended 3-methyl-1-butanol as a compound to increase An. gambiae captures in the field. To date, this compound's ability to lure wild mosquitoes in differing land-use settings has not been tested. In this study, we evaluate the role of the synthetic compound, 3-methyl-1-butanol in combination with field produced CO(2) in attracting Anopheles mosquitoes in varying land-use sites in Madagascar.
Methods: CDC miniature light traps in combination with field produced CO(2) were deployed in and around six villages near Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. To test the role of 3-methyl-1-butanol in luring Anopheles mosquitoes, two traps were set in each land-use site (village, agricultural sites, and forested habitats affiliated with each village). One was baited with the synthetic odor and the other was kept as a non-baited control.
Results: While 3-methyl-1-butanol baited traps did capture An. gambiae s.l. in this study, we did not find traps baited with synthetic 3-methyl-1-butanol to be more successful in capturing Anopheles mosquitoes, (including Anopheles gambiae s.l.) than the non odor-baited control traps in any of the land-use sites examined; however, regardless of odor bait, trapping near livestock pens resulted in the capture of significantly more Anopheles specimens.
Conclusions: A strong synthetic lure in combination with insecticide has great potential as a mosquito control. Our findings suggest that trapping mosquitoes near livestock in malaria endemic regions, such as Madagascar, may be more successful at capturing Anopheles mosquitoes than the proposed 3-1-methyl-butanol lure.