Trapping of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae with odour-baited MM-X traps in semi-field conditions in western Kenya

B.N. Njiru, W.R. Mukabana, W. Takken, B.G.J. Knols

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87 Citations (Scopus)


Background - The successful development of odour-baited trapping systems for mosquitoes depends on the identification of behaviourally active semiochemicals, besides the design and operating principles of such devices. A large variety of 'attractants' has been identified in laboratory investigations, yet few of these increase trap catches in the field. A contained system, intermediate between the laboratory and open field, is presented and previous reports that human foot odour induces behavioural responses of Anopheles gambiae confirmed. Methods - The response of 3–5 day old female An. gambiae towards odour-baited counterflow geometry traps (MM-X model; American Biophysics Corp., RI) was studied in semi-field (screen house) conditions in western Kenya. Traps were baited with human foot odour (collected on socks), carbon dioxide (CO2, 500 ml min-1), ammonia (NH3), 1-octen-3-ol, or various combinations thereof. Trap catches were log (x+1) transformed and subjected to Latin square analysis of variance procedures. Results - Apart from 1-octen-3-ol, all odour baits caused significant (P <0.05) increases in trap catches over non-baited traps. Foot odour remained behaviourally active for at least 8 days after collection on nylon or cotton sock fabric. A synergistic response (P <0.001) was observed towards the combination of foot odour and CO2, which increased catches of these odours alone by 3.8 and 2.7 times, respectively. Conclusion - These results are the first to report behavioural responses of an African malaria vector to human foot odour outside the laboratory, and further investigation of fractions and/or individual chemical components of this odour complex are called for. Semi-field systems offer the prospect of high-throughput screening of candidate kairomones, which may expedite the development of efficient trap-bait systems for this and other African mosquito species.
Original languageEnglish
Article number39
Number of pages8
JournalMalaria Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • culex-quinquefasciatus diptera
  • host-seeking behavior
  • tsetse-flies diptera
  • human landing catch
  • carbon-dioxide
  • human-sweat
  • sensu-stricto
  • mosquitos diptera
  • limburger cheese
  • lactic-acid

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