Lethal ovitraps are a modification of a common mosquito population monitoring technology: adult females are enticed to a water container to lay their eggs and are exposed to a lethal dose of pesticide. The Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap (AGO) improves this technology in several ways. It has been modified to make it more attractive to gravid Aedes aegypti. The killing agent is an adhesive, thus extending the useful field life while negating the need for insecticides. This project aims to modify the current AGO design to make it suitable for mass production. The goal is to produce an efficacious, cost-effective, and durable AGO. Long-term objectives include optimizing use of the AGO for control of arbovirus-vectoring mosquitoes to prevent outbreaks of dengue and other diseases, and extending the technology for use with other container-breeding species of mosquitoes. The final result is expected to be a commercially viable product for professional and home use. Phase I efforts culminated in a prototype injection mold for the AGO, with individual elements of the design validated both digitally and in competitive cage bioassays. Multiple synthetic attractants were evaluated, with several performing at least as well as the standard hay infusion. The Phase I AGO is suitable for mass production, cost-effective, user-friendly, and has high attraction to Ae. aegypti. Phase II will result in a product that can be mass-manufactured with demonstrated efficacy against container- breeding mosquitoes. The injection-molded AGO will be evaluated in large room and field tests for effectiveness and durability. The attractant formulation will be refined in arena ad field tests to be at least as attractive as hay infusion, and easily packaged and shipped. Large-scale urban field testing will be expanded to test the AGO's efficacy in suppressing both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus. A CDC-developed diagnostic quick test will be used to determine disease frequency in trapped mosquitoes, to assess if large-scale deployment of the AGO reduces the mosquito population below the dengue transmission threshold. Container-breeding mosquitoes such as Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus are day-biting nuisance mosquitoes. They are also vectors of serious viral diseases, including dengue fever, yellow fever, and chikungunya. Currently >2.5 billion people in tropical countries are at risk of infection with dengue fever. The mission of the CDC-NCEZID is to detect, prevent, and control zoonotic infectious diseases. Dengue fever and chikungunya are not currently major threats to US residents, but these diseases are spreading as their mosquito vectors expand their ranges. The AGO will be both a monitoring tool to check the spread of these increasingly invasive species, and an effective control option for use in outbreaks by creating area-wide suppression of mosquito populations. It promises to be an important tool in the long term battle to control nuisance mosquitoes, improve quality of life for people in affected areas, and prevent vector-borne diseases.
The proposed research will result in a trap for container-breeding mosquitoes, vectors of dengue fever and other widespread tropical diseases, which is simple to use, affordable, and optimized for both mosquito attraction and end user acceptance. It will be suitable for monitoring mosquito populations, allowing public mosquito control agencies to quickly respond to population increases of these mosquitoes. The lack of chemical pesticides in the trap will also mean that it can be used in environmentally fragile ecosystems, countries with strict regulations on pesticides, and anywhere that pesticide resistance is or may become a problem.