Modeling the effects of integrating larval habitat source reduction and insecticide treated nets for malaria control.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0006921
Integrated vector management for malaria control has received a lot of recent interest. Attacking multiple points in the transmission cycle is hoped to act synergistically and improve upon current single-tool interventions based on the use of insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs). In the present study, we theoretically examined the application of larval habitat source reduction with ITNs in reducing malaria transmission. We selected this type of environmental management to complement ITNs because of a potential secondary mode of action that both control strategies share. In addition to increasing vector mortality, ITNs reduce the rate at which female mosquitoes locate human hosts for blood feeding, thereby extending their gonotrophic cycle. Similarly, while reducing adult vector emergence and abundance, source reduction of larval habitats may prolong the cycle duration by extending delays in locating oviposition sites. We found, however, that source reduction of larval habitats only operates through this secondary mode of action when habitat density is below a critical threshold. Hence, we illustrate how this strategy becomes increasingly effective when larval habitats are limited. We also demonstrate that habitat source reduction is better suited to human populations of higher density and in the presence of insecticide resistance or when the insecticidal properties of ITNs are depleted.