Semi-field evaluation of the exposure-free mosquito electrocuting trap and BG-Sentinel trap as an alternative to the human landing catch for measuring the efficacy of transfluthrin emanators against Aedes aegypti

Mgeni M. Tambwe, Adam Saddler, Ummi Abdul Kibondo, Rajabu Mashauri, Katharina S. Kreppel, Nicodem J. Govella, Sarah J. Moore

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The human landing catch (HLC) measures human exposure to mosquito bites and evaluates the efficacy of vector control tools. However, it may expose volunteers to potentially infected mosquitoes. The mosquito electrocuting trap (MET) and BG-Sentinel traps (BGS) represent alternative, exposure-free methods for sampling host-seeking mosquitoes. This study investigates whether these methods can be effectively used as alternatives to HLC for measuring the efficacy of transfluthrin emanator against Aedes aegypti.


The protective efficacy (PE) of freestanding passive transfluthrin emanators (FTPEs), measured by HLC, MET and BGS, was compared in no-choice and choice tests. The collection methods were conducted 2 m from an experimental hut with FTPEs positioned at 3 m on either side of them. For the choice experiment, a competitor HLC was included 10 m from the first collection point. One hundred laboratory-reared Ae. aegypti mosquitoes were released and collected for 3 consecutive h.


In the no-choice test, each method measured similar PE: HLC: 66% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 50-82), MET: 55% (95% CI: 48-63) and BGS: 64% (95% CI: 54-73). The proportion of mosquitoes recaptured was consistent between methods (20-24%) in treatment and varied (47-71%) in the control. However, in choice tests, the PE measured by each method varied: HLC: 37% (95% CI: 25-50%), MET: 76% (95% CI: 61-92) and BGS trap: 0% (95% CI: 0-100). Recaptured mosquitoes were no longer consistent between methods in treatment (2-26%) and remained variable in the control (7-42%). FTPE provided 50% PE to the second HLC 10 m away. In the control, the MET and the BGS were less efficacious in collecting mosquitoes in the presence of a second HLC.


Measuring the PE in isolation was fairly consistent for HLC, MET and BGS. Because HLC is not advisable, it is reasonable to use either MET or BGS as a proxy for HLC for testing volatile pyrethroid (VP) in areas of active arbovirus-endemic areas. The presence of a human host in close proximity invalidated the PE estimates from BGS and METs. Findings also indicated that transfluthrin can protect multiple people in the peridomestic area and that at short range mosquitoes select humans over the BGS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number265
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Mosquito electrocuting trap
  • Human landing catch
  • BG-Sentinel
  • Spatial repellent
  • Ae
  • aegypti
  • ODOR

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