Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Field assessment of potential sugar feeding stations for disseminating bacteria in a paratransgenic approach to control malaria.

Abstract

Background: Using bacteria to express and deliver anti-parasite molecules in mosquitoes is among the list of genetic tools to control malaria. The introduction and spread of transgenic bacteria through wild adult mosquitoes is one of the major challenges of this strategy. In prospect of future field experiments, an open field study with blank (without bacteria) attractive sugar bait (ASB) was performed under the assumption that transgenic bacteria would be spread to all sugar fed mosquitoes. Methods: Two types of ASB stations were developed, one with clay pots (CP) placed at mosquito resting sites and one with window entry traps (WET) placed inside inhabited houses. The ASB consisted in either glucose, honey or fruit cocktail solutions. In addition, mark-release-recapture (MRR) experiment of mosquitoes after feeding them with glucose was also conducted to check the proportion of the mosquito population that can be reached by the two ASB stations as well as its suitability to complement the ASB stations for disseminating bacteria. Results: Overall, 88% of the mosquitoes were collected in the WET_ASB. The CP_ASB stations were much less attractive with the highest average of 82±11 mosquitoes/day in the CP near the wood piles. The proportions of sugar fed mosquitoes upon ASB were low in both type of ASB stations, ∼2% and ∼14% in WET and CP, respectively. Honey solution was the most attractive solution compared to the glucose and the fruit cocktail solutions. The recapture rate in the MRR experiment was low: ∼4.1% over 7 days. Conclusion: The WET_ASB looks promising to disseminate transgenic bacteria to endophilic West Africa Anopheles mosquito. However, this feeding station may not be fully effective and could be combined with the CP_ASB to also target outdoor resting mosquitoes. Overall, efforts are needed to improve the mosquito-feeding rates upon ASB.