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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 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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