Background: Since the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus can breed in clean water, WHO-endorsed vector control strategies place sachets of organophosphate pesticide, temephos (Abate), in household water storage containers. These and other pesticide-dependent approaches have failed to curb the spread of dengue and multiple dengue virus serotypes continue to spread throughout tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. A feasibility study in Managua, Nicaragua, generated instruments, intervention protocols, training schedules and impact assessment tools for a cluster randomised controlled trial of community-based approaches to vector control comprising an alternative strategy for dengue prevention and control in Nicaragua and Mexico.
Methods/design: The Camino Verde (Green Way) is a pragmatic parallel group trial of pesticide-free dengue vector control, adding effectiveness to the standard government dengue control. A random sample from the most recent census in three coastal regions of Guerrero state in Mexico will generate 90 study clusters and the equivalent sampling frame in Managua, Nicaragua will generate 60 clusters, making a total of 150 clusters each of 137-140 households. After a baseline study, computer-driven randomisation will allocate to intervention one half of the sites, stratified by country, evidence of recent dengue virus infection in children aged 3-9 years and, in Nicaragua, level of community organisation. Following a common evidence-based education protocol, each cluster will develop and implement its own collective interventions including house-to-house visits, school-based programmes and inter-community visits. After 18 months, a follow-up study will compare dengue history, serological evidence of recent dengue virus infection (via measurement of anti-dengue virus antibodies in saliva samples) and entomological indices between intervention and control sites.
Discussion: Our hypothesis is that informed community mobilisation adds effectiveness in controlling dengue.
Trial registration: ISRCTN27581154 .