Indoor use of attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB) to effectively control malaria vectors in Mali, West Africa

Whitney A. Qualls*, Günter C. Müller, Sekou F. Traore, Mohamed M. Traore, Kristopher L. Arheart, Seydou Doumbia, Yosef Schlein, Vasiliy D. Kravchenko, Rui De Xue, John C. Beier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB) solutions containing any gut toxins can be either sprayed on plants or used in simple bait stations to attract and kill sugar-feeding female and male mosquitoes. This field study in Mali demonstrates the effect of ATSB bait stations inside houses as a vector control method that targets and kills endophilic African malaria vectors. Methods: The studies were conducted in five villages located near the River Niger, Mali. Baseline village-wide assessments of densities for female and male Anopheles gambiae sensu lato were performed by pyrethrum spray collections (PSC) in ten houses in each of five villages. To determine the rate of mosquito feeding on bait stations, one bait station per house containing attractive sugar bait (ASB) (without toxin) plus a food dye marker, was set up in ten houses in each of the five villages. PSC collections were conducted on the following day and the percentage of female and male mosquitoes that had fed was determined by visual inspection for the dye marker. Then, a 50-day field trial was done. In an experimental village, one bait station containing ATSB (1% boric acid active ingredient) was placed per bedroom (58 bedrooms), and indoor densities of female and male An. gambiae s.l. were subsequently determined by PSC, and female mosquitoes were age graded. Results: In the five villages, the percentages of An. gambiae s.l. feeding inside houses on the non-toxic bait stations ranged from 28.3 to 53.1% for females and 36.9 to 78.3% for males. Following ATSB indoor bait station presentation, there was a significant reduction, 90% in female and 93% in male populations, of An. gambiae s.l. at the experimental village. A 3.8-fold decrease in the proportion of females that had undergone four or more gonotrophic cycles was recorded at the experimental village, compared to a 1.2-fold increase at the control village. Conclusion: The field trial demonstrates that An. gambiae s.l. feed readily from ATSB bait stations situated indoors, leading to a substantial reduction in the proportion of older female mosquitoes. This study demonstrates that ATSB inside houses can achieve impressive malaria vector control in Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number301
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 5 Aug 2015


  • Anopheles gambiae
  • Attractive toxic sugar baits (ATSB)
  • Bait stations
  • Indoor mosquito control
  • Malaria
  • Mali
  • Sugar feeding


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