Leveraging mosquitoes sugar feeding habits as a means to control malaria and other vector borne diseases was first identified decades ago but was never developed as a product that could be deployed at scale for public health. One organisation, Westham has created a revolutionary bait station containing an Attractive Targeted Sugar Bait (ATSB) which was tested in Mali in 2016 and 2017 to ascertain entomological impact, social acceptance, impact on non-target organisms and a preliminary risk assessment. The results are very encouraging as they demonstrate that the continuous exposure to ATSB induces an age shift in the mosquito population by dramatically reducing the number of old female anopheline (more than 3 gonotrophic cycles) so reducing the number of mosquitoes able to transmit malaria.
The proof of concept results have triggered a new development phase which will extend the testing to other countries to identify whether similar results can be reproduced in different vector ecology environments. The aim is to demonstrate the entomological and epidemiological impact of ATSB as an effective public health tool to fight malaria.