Background: The persistence and geographical expansion of leishmaniasis is a major public health problem that requires the development of effective integrated vector management strategies for sand fly control. Moreover, these strategies must be economically and environmentally sustainable approaches that can be modified based on the current knowledge of sand fly vector behavior. The efficacy of using attractive toxic sugar baits (ATSB) for sand fly control and the potential impacts of ATSB on non-target organisms in Morocco was investigated. Methods: Sand fly field experiments were conducted in an agricultural area along the flood plain of the Ourika River. Six study sites (600 m x 600 m); three with "sugar rich" (with cactus hedges bearing countless ripe fruits) environments and three with "sugar poor" (green vegetation only suitable for plant tissue feeding) environments were selected to evaluate ATSB, containing the toxin, dinotefuran. ATSB applications were made either with bait stations or sprayed on non-flowering vegetation. Control sites were established in both sugar rich and sugar poor environments. Field studies evaluating feeding on vegetation treated with attractive (non-toxic) sugar baits (ASB) by non-target arthropods were conducted at both sites with red stained ASB applied to non-flowering vegetation, flowering vegetation, or on bait stations. Results: At both the sites, a single application of ATSB either applied to vegetation or bait stations significantly reduced densities of both female and male sand flies (Phlebotomus papatasi and P. sergenti) for the five-week trial period. Sand fly populations were reduced by 82.8% and 76.9% at sugar poor sites having ATSB applied to vegetation or presented as a bait station, respectively and by 78.7% and 83.2%, respectively at sugar rich sites. The potential impact of ATSB on non-targets, if applied on green non-flowering vegetation and bait stations, was low for all non-target groups as only 1% and 0.7% were stained with non-toxic bait respectively when monitored after 24 hours. Conclusions: The results of this field study demonstrate ATSB effectively controls both female and male sand flies regardless of competing sugar sources. Furthermore, ATSB applied to foliar vegetation and on bait stations has low non-target impact.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Special thanks are due to the personnel of the Department of Agriculture in Marrakech, Morocco and the local authorities for the valuable assistance. The research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Allergy And Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01AI100968 and the United States Department of the Army, Space and Missile Defense Command, Deployed War Fighters Protection Project (DWFP) grant# W81R6091285002. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the Deployed War Fighter program.
© 2015 Qualls et al.; licensee BioMed Central.
- Environmental impact
- Integrated vector management
- Vector control
- Vector-borne diseases
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases