Background: Dengue fever is the most common and widespread mosquito-borne arboviral disease in the world. There is a compelling need for cost-effective approaches and practical tools that can reliably measure real-time dengue transmission dynamics that enable more accurate and useful predictions of incidence and outbreaks. Sensitive surveillance tools do not exist today, and only a small handful of new control strategies are available. Vector control remains at the forefront for combating dengue transmission. However, the effectiveness of many current vector control interventions is fraught with inherent weaknesses. No single vector control method is effective enough to control both vector populations and disease transmission. Evaluations of novel larval and adult control interventions are needed.
Methods/design: A cluster-randomized controlled trial will be carried out between 2017 and 2019 in urban community clusters in Khon Kaen and Roi Et cities, northeastern Thailand. The effectiveness of a pyriproxyfen/spinosad combination treatment of permanent water storage containers will be evaluated on epidemiological and entomological outcomes, including dengue incidence, number of female adult dengue vectors infected or not infected with dengue virus (DENV), human exposure to Aedes mosquito bites, and several other indices. These indices will also be used to develop predictive models for dengue transmission and impending outbreaks. Epidemiological and entomological data will be collected continuously for 2 years, with the intervention implemented after 1 year.
Discussion: The aims of the trial are to simultaneously evaluate the efficacy of an innovative dengue vector control intervention and developing predictive dengue models. Assessment of human exposure to mosquito bites by detecting antibodies generated against Aedes saliva proteins in human blood samples has, so far, not been applied in dengue epidemiological risk assessment and disease surveillance methodologies. Likewise, DENV detection in mosquitoes (adult and immature stages) has not been used in any practical way for routine disease surveillance strategies. The integration of multiple outcome measures will assist health authorities to better predict outbreaks for planning and applying focal and timely interventions. The trial outcomes will not only be important for Thailand, but also for the entire Southeast Asian region and further afield.
Trial registration: ISRCTN, ISRCTN73606171 . Registered on 23 June 2017.
Keywords: Dengue index; Dengue monitoring; Entomology; Immunology; Risk assessment; Vector control.