Marit Farenhorst, Anne Hilhorst, Matthew B. Thomas, Bart G. J. Knols; Development of Fungal Applications on Netting Substrates for Malaria Vector Control. J Med Entomol 2011; 48 (2): 305-313. doi: 10.1603/ME10134
Mosquito resistance to chemical insecticides is considered a serious threat for the sustainable use of contemporary malaria vector control methods. Fungal entomopathogens show potential as alternative biological control agents against (insecticide-resistant) anophelines. This study was designed to test whether the fungus, Beauveria bassiana, could be delivered to mosquitoes on netting materials that might be used in house screens, such as eave curtains. Tests were conducted to determine effects of formulation, application method, netting material, and nature of mosquito contact. Beauveria had a twice as high impact on Anopheles gambiae s.s. longevity when suspended in Shellsol solvent compared with Ondina oil (HR = 2.12, 95% confidence interval = 1.83–2.60, P < 0.001), and was significantly more infective when applied through spraying than dipping. Polyester and cotton bednets were the most effective substrates for mosquito infections, with highest spore viability on cotton nets. Whereas fungal impact was highest in mosquitoes that had passed through large-meshed impregnated nets, overall efficacy was equal between small- and large-meshed nets, with ≤30-min spore contact killing >90% of mosquitoes within 10 d. Results indicate that the use of fungal spores dissolved in Shellsol and sprayed on small-meshed cotton eave curtain nets would be the most promising option for field implementation. Biological control with fungus-impregnated eave curtains could provide a means to target host-seeking mosquitoes upon house entry, and has potential for use in integrated vector management strategies, in combination with chemical vector control measures, to supplement malaria control in areas with high levels of insecticide resistance.