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Modest additive effects of integrated vector control measures on malaria prevalence and transmission in western Kenya


Abstract Background The effect of integrating vector larval intervention on malaria transmission is unknown when insecticide-treated bed-net (ITN) coverage is very high, and the optimal indicator for intervention evaluation needs to be determined when transmission is low. Methods A post hoc assignment of intervention-control cluster design was used to assess the added effect of both indoor residual spraying (IRS) and Bacillus-based larvicides (Bti) in addition to ITN in the western Kenyan highlands in 2010 and 2011. Cross-sectional, mass parasite screenings, adult vector populations, and cohort of active case surveillance (ACS) were conducted before and after the intervention in three study sites with two- to three-paired intervention-control clusters at each site each year. The effect of larviciding, IRS, ITNs and other determinants of malaria risk was assessed by means of mixed estimating methods. Results Average ITN coverage increased from 41% in 2010 to 92% in 2011 in the study sites. IRS intervention had significant added impact on reducing vector density in 2010 but the impact was modest in 2011. The effect of IRS on reducing parasite prevalence was significant in 2011 but was seasonal specific in 2010. ITN was significantly associated with parasite densities in 2010 but IRS application was significantly correlated with reduced gametocyte density in 2011. IRS application reduced about half of the clinical malaria cases in 2010 and about one-third in 2011 compare to non-intervention areas. Conclusion Compared with a similar study conducted in 2005, the efficacy of the current integrated vector control with ITN, IRS, and Bti reduced three- to five-fold despite high ITN coverage, reflecting a modest added impact on malaria transmission. Additional strategies need to be developed to further reduce malaria transmission.

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