Evaluating effectiveness of screening house eaves as a potential intervention for reducing indoor vector densities and malaria prevalence in Nyabondo, western Kenya

Ng'ang'a PN, Okoyo C, Mbogo C, Mutero CM
Malar J. 2020;19

Permenent descriptor

BACKGROUND: Mosquito-proofing of houses using wire mesh screens is gaining greater recognition as a practical intervention for reducing exposure to malaria transmitting mosquitoes. Screening potentially protects all persons sleeping inside the house against transmission of mosquito-borne diseases indoors. The study assessed the effectiveness of house eaves screening in reducing indoor vector densities and malaria prevalence in Nyabondo, western Kenya. METHODS: 160 houses were selected for the study, with half of them randomly chosen for eaves screening with fibre-glass coated wire mesh (experimental group) and the other half left without screening (control group). Randomization was carried out by use of computer-generated list in permuted blocks of ten houses and 16 village blocks, with half of them allocated treatment in a ratio of 1:1. Cross-sectional baseline entomological and parasitological data were collected before eave screening. After baseline data collection, series of sampling of indoor adult mosquitoes were conducted once a month in each village using CDC light traps. Three cross-sectional malaria parasitological surveys were conducted at three month intervals after installation of the screens. The primary outcome measures were indoor Anopheles mosquito density and malaria parasite prevalence. RESULTS: A total of 15,286 mosquitoes were collected over the two year period using CDC light traps in 160 houses distributed over 16 study villages (mean mosquitoes = 4.35, SD = 11.48). Of all mosquitoes collected, 2,872 (18.8%) were anophelines (2,869 Anopheles gambiae sensu lato, 1 Anopheles funestus and 2 other Anopheles spp). Overall, among An. gambiae collected, 92.6% were non-blood fed, 3.57% were blood fed and the remaining 0.47% were composed of gravid and half gravid females. More indoor adult mosquitoes were collected in the control than experimental arms of the study. Results from cross-sectional parasitological surveys showed that screened houses recorded relatively low malaria parasite prevalence rates compared to the control houses. Overall, malaria prevalence was 5.6% (95% CI: 4.2-7.5) n = 1,918, with baseline prevalence rate of 6.1% (95% CI: 3.9-9.4), n = 481 and 3(rd) follow-up survey prevalence of 3.6% (95% CI: 2.0-6.8) n = 494. At all the three parasitological follow-up survey points, house screening significantly reduced the malaria prevalence by 100% (p < 0.001), 63.6% (p = 0.026), and 100% (p < 0.001) in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd follow-up surveys respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated that house eave screening has potential to reduce indoor vector densities and malaria prevalence in high transmission areas.