Navigation path

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia


   Infocentre

Published: 2 April 2015  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Health & life sciencesCommunicable diseases  |  Major diseases
International cooperation
Special CollectionsHIV & AIDS  |  Malaria
Success storiesHealth & life sciences
Video reports
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Belgium  |  Germany  |  Netherlands  |  Tanzania  |  United States
Add to PDF "basket"

Sucker punch: the European research project dealing a blow to mosquitoes

Mankind has been at war with mosquitoes down through the ages because of the threat they pose through malaria. ""I've been in the business of mosquitoes for the last 22 years, studying these insects not only because they are fascinating, but also because they cause a lot of trouble in the world through diseases like malaria, which still every year cause the death of more than 700,000 people worldwide," says Bart Knols, a medical entomologist.

Photo of a researcher demonstrating the contraption
Video in MP4 format:  ar  de  el  en  es  fa  fr  hu  it  pt  ru  tr  uk  (38.1 MB)

He is one of the lead researchers on a European project that is taking the battle to the mosquito with a new simple and inexpensive device.

Knols is the coordinator of the In2Care/MCD project: “These insects – they have been with us for millions of years, they are an evolutionary Rolls Royce if you wish – I mean they are very good in finding people, very good in transmitting the diseases that they carry, and controlling them for us as mankind has been very complicated – because if we spray insecticide on them they become resistant. So we have to find new and very creative ways of killing these mosquitoes and parasites,” he says.

Mosquitoes bite at night, entering buildings through ventilation shafts and other openings. The European research project has developed a simple solution; plastic tubes with nets inside. The nets are coated with insecticide that electrostatically sticks to mosquitoes.

“The ventilation is still there, but in those ventilation holes we’re now installing our tubes with the netting, and the netting has the insecticide on, so that when a mosquito comes from over a distance, responding to the smell of these humans, they will now land on the gauze, pick up the insecticide and they will die,” explains Knols.

Researchers have tested the device in more than 1,300 houses in Tanzania with good results. They are now working with local construction companies to have the anti-mosquito tubes installed in all new buildings.

“For a full seven months we can kill 100% of the mosquitoes that make contact with the gauze,” says Knols.

“So we know from field data that it actually works for more than half a year. The installation cost can be quite high upfront, but afterwards, if you have to replace only the netting, it will be very cheap. We have calculated that on an annual basis, per person per year the cost would be one to two dollars.”

Scientists are trying different materials and shapes to maximise cost-effectiveness. The tube, installed under the roof, is out of reach of children, so a wide range of insecticides can be used safely. Studies show that enough of the chemical sticks to the insects to ensure that they don’t develop a resistance.

With the aid of a graphic medical entomologist, Janneke Snetselaa explains: “Here, for instance, you see a mosquito that’s been exposed to our coating. All the orange you see here is where it’s got insecticide on its body – so it’s way better exposure than, for instance, a bed net.”

Potentially, the system could be used in conjunction with other methods, as Knols explains: “The future for this technology is very simple: we now have two main methods of malaria mosquitoes control in Africa – one is indoor spraying on the walls with insecticides, which is done twice a year, or we put people under bed nets. What we want to achieve is that this is number three. We have nets, we have indoors spraying, and we have eave tubes.

Project details

  • Project acronym:MCD
  • Participants:Netherlands (Coordinator), Germany, Belgium, USA, Tanzania
  • Project Reference N° 306105
  • Total cost: €6 576 806
  • EU contribution: €5 212 772,5
  • Duration:December 2012 - November 2015

See also

The video on this page was prepared in collaboration with Euronews for the Futuris programme, also available as a podcast.

Project web site

Project details

 

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

The video on this page was prepared in collaboration with Euronews for the Futuris programme, also available as a podcast.

Project web site

Project details

Contacts
Unit A1 - External & internal communication,
Directorate-General for Research & Innovation,
European Commission
Tel : +32 2 298 45 40
  Top   Research Information Center
 
Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia