Methods and indicators for measuring patterns of human exposure to malaria vectors

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Monroe, April
Moore, Sarah
Okumu, Fredros
Kiware, Samson
Lobo, Neil F.
Koenker, Hannah
Sherrard-Smith, Ellie
Gimnig, John
Killeen, Gerry F.
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BMC (part of Springer Nature)
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Background: Effective targeting and evaluation of interventions that protect against adult malaria vectors requires an understanding of how gaps in personal protection arise. An improved understanding of human and mosquito behaviour, and how they overlap in time and space, is critical to estimating the impact of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and determining when and where supplemental personal protection tools are needed. Methods for weighting estimates of human exposure to biting Anopheles mosquitoes according to where people spend their time were first developed over half a century ago. However, crude indoor and outdoor biting rates are still commonly interpreted as indicative of human-vector contact patterns without any adjustment for human behaviour or the personal protection effects of ITNs. Main text: A small number of human behavioural variables capturing the distribution of human populations indoors and outdoors, whether they are awake or asleep, and if and when they use an ITN over the course of the night, can enable a more accurate representation of human biting exposure patterns. However, to date no clear guidance is available on what data should be collected, what indicators should be reported, or how they should be calculated. This article presents an integrated perspective on relevant indicators of human-vector interactions, the critical entomological and human behavioural data elements required to quantify human-vector interactions, and recommendations for collecting and analysing such data. Conclusions: If collected and used consistently, this information can contribute to an improved understanding of how malaria transmission persists in the context of current intervention tools, how exposure patterns may change as new vector control tools are introduced, and the potential impact and limitations of these tools. This article is intended to consolidate understanding around work on this topic to date and provide a consistent framework for building upon it. Additional work is needed to address remaining questions, including further development and validation of methods for entomological and human behavioural data collection and analysis.
Insecticide-treated nets , Human-vector interaction , Human-vector contact , Exposure , Residual malaria transmission , Outdoor biting , Outdoor transmission
Monroe, A., Moore, S., Okumu, F., Kiware, S., Lobo, N. F., Koenker, H., Sherrard-Smith, E., Gimnig, J. and Killeen, G. F. (2020) 'Methods and indicators for measuring patterns of human exposure to malaria vectors', Malaria Journal, 19, 207 (14 pp). doi: 10.1186/s12936-020-03271-z