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Communication

Drones for Area-Wide Larval Source Management of Malaria Mosquitoes

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi, Nairobi P.O. Box 30197-00100, Kenya
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Science for Health, Nairobi P.O. Box 44970-00100, Kenya
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African Institute for Development Policy, Nairobi P.O. Box 14688-00800, Kenya
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InGuide, Gevers Deynootweg 1108A, 2586 BX The Hague, The Netherlands
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UCL School of Management, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AA, UK
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Tanzania Flying Labs, Science Junction, Bagamoyo Road, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Programme, Zanzibar P.O. Box 236, Tanzania
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Environmental Health and Ecological Sciences Department, Ifakara Health Institute, Ifakara P.O. Box 53, Tanzania
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Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Radboud University, Heyendaalseweg 135, 6525 AJ Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Soneva Fushi, 4th Floor Jazeera Building, Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Male 20077, Maldives
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Barbara Bollard
Drones 2022, 6(7), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6070180
Received: 25 June 2022 / Revised: 14 July 2022 / Accepted: 18 July 2022 / Published: 20 July 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Drones in Ecology)
Given the stagnating progress in the fight against malaria, there is an urgent need for area-wide integrated vector management strategies to complement existing intra-domiciliary tools, i.e., insecticide-treated bednets and indoor residual spraying. In this study, we describe a pilot trial using drones for aerial application of Aquatain Mosquito Formulation (AMF), a monomolecular surface film with larvicidal activity, against the African malaria mosquito Anopheles arabiensis in an irrigated rice agro-ecosystem in Unguja island, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Nine rice paddies were randomly assigned to three treatments: (a) control (drone spraying with water only), (b) drone spraying with 1 mL/m2, or (c) drone spraying with 5 mL/m2 of AMF. Compared to control paddies, AMF treatments resulted in highly significant (p < 0.001) reductions in the number of larvae and pupae and >90% fewer emerging adults. The residual effect of AMF treatment lasted for a minimum of 5 weeks post-treatment, with reductions in larval densities reaching 94.7% in week 5 and 99.4% in week 4 for the 1 and 5 mL/m2 AMF treatments, respectively. These results merit a review of the WHO policy regarding larval source management (LSM), which primarily recommends its use in urban environments with ‘few, fixed, and findable’ breeding sites. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can rapidly treat many permanent, temporary, or transient mosquito breeding sites over large areas at low cost, thereby significantly enhancing the role of LSM in contemporary malaria control and elimination efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: drones; UAV; malaria; larval source management; larvicide; rice agro-ecosystem; Zanzibar drones; UAV; malaria; larval source management; larvicide; rice agro-ecosystem; Zanzibar
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mukabana, W.R.; Welter, G.; Ohr, P.; Tingitana, L.; Makame, M.H.; Ali, A.S.; Knols, B.G.J. Drones for Area-Wide Larval Source Management of Malaria Mosquitoes. Drones 2022, 6, 180. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6070180

AMA Style

Mukabana WR, Welter G, Ohr P, Tingitana L, Makame MH, Ali AS, Knols BGJ. Drones for Area-Wide Larval Source Management of Malaria Mosquitoes. Drones. 2022; 6(7):180. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6070180

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mukabana, Wolfgang R., Guido Welter, Pius Ohr, Leka Tingitana, Makame H. Makame, Abdullah S. Ali, and Bart G. J. Knols. 2022. "Drones for Area-Wide Larval Source Management of Malaria Mosquitoes" Drones 6, no. 7: 180. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones6070180

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