Field Evaluation of a Push-Pull System to Reduce Malaria Transmission

D.J. Menger, P. Omusula, M.R. Holdinga, T. Homan, A.S. Carreira, P. Vandendaele, J.L. Derycke, C.K. Mweresa, W.R. Mukabana, J.J.A. van Loon, W. Takken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Malaria continues to place a disease burden on millions of people throughout the tropics, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Although efforts to control mosquito populations and reduce human-vector contact, such as long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual spraying, have led to significant decreases in malaria incidence, further progress is now threatened by the widespread development of physiological and behavioural insecticide-resistance as well as changes in the composition of vector populations. A mosquito-directed push-pull system based on the simultaneous use of attractive and repellent volatiles offers a complementary tool to existing vector-control methods. In this study, the combination of a trap baited with a five-compound attractant and a strip of net-fabric impregnated with micro-encapsulated repellent and placed in the eaves of houses, was tested in a malaria-endemic village in western Kenya. Using the repellent delta-undecalactone, mosquito house entry was reduced by more than 50%, while the traps caught high numbers of outdoor flying mosquitoes. Model simulations predict that, assuming area-wide coverage, the addition of such a push-pull system to existing prevention efforts will result in up to 20-fold reductions in the entomological inoculation rate. Reductions of such magnitude are also predicted when mosquitoes exhibit a high resistance against insecticides. We conclude that a push-pull system based on non-toxic volatiles provides an important addition to existing strategies for malaria prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0123415
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • mosquito anopheles-gambiae
  • lasting insecticidal nets
  • polymerase-chain-reaction
  • spatial repellency
  • carbon-dioxide
  • trap catches
  • house entry
  • funestus
  • vectors
  • attractants


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