Courtenay O, et al (2019) Sand fly synthetic sex-aggregation pheromone co-located with insecticide reduces the incidence of infection in the canine reservoir of visceral leishmaniasis: A stratified cluster randomised trial. PLoS NTD 13 e0007767
Courtenay O, Dilger E, Calvo-Bado LA, et al (2019) Sand fly synthetic sex-aggregation pheromone co-located with insecticide reduces the incidence of infection in the canine reservoir of visceral leishmaniasis: A stratified cluster randomised trial. PLoS NTD 13 e0007767
To evaluate the efficacy of a synthetic sex-aggregation pheromone of the sand fly vector Lu. longipalpis, co-located with residual insecticide, to reduce the infection incidence of Leishmania infantum in the canine reservoir.
A stratified cluster randomised trial was designed to detect a 50% reduction in canine incident infection after 24 months in 42 recruited clusters, randomly assigned to one of three intervention arms (14 cluster each): synthetic pheromone + insecticide, insecticide-impregnated dog collars, or placebo control. Infection incidence was measured by seroconversion to anti-Leishmania serum antibody, Leishmania parasite detection and canine tissue parasite loads. Changes in relative Lu. longipalpis abundance within households were measured by setting three CDC light traps per household.
A total 1,454 seronegative dogs were followed-up for a median 15.2 (95% C.I.s: 14.6, 16.2) months per cluster. The pheromone + insecticide intervention provided 13% (95% C.I. 0%, 44.0%) protection against anti-Leishmania antibody seroconversion, 52% (95% C.I. 6.2%, 74.9%) against parasite infection, reduced tissue parasite loads by 53% (95% C.I. 5.4%, 76.7%), and reduced household female sand fly abundance by 49% (95% C.I. 8.2%, 71.3%). Variation in the efficacy against seroconversion varied between trial strata. Equivalent protection attributed to the impregnated-collars were 36% (95% C.I. 14.4%, 51.8%), 23% (95% C.I. 0%, 57.5%), 48% (95% C.I. 0%, 73.4%) and 43% (95% C.I. 0%, 67.9%), respectively. Comparison of the two interventions showed no statistically consistent differences in their efficacies; however, the errors were broad for all outcomes. Reductions in sand fly numbers were predominant where insecticide was located (chicken and dog sleeping sites), with no evidence of insecticide-induced repellence onto humans or dogs.
The synthetic pheromone co-located with insecticide provides protection particularly against canine L. infantum parasite transmission and sand fly vector abundance. The effect estimates are not dissimilar to those of the insecticide-impregnated collars, which are documented to reduce canine infection incidence, human infection and clinical VL disease incidence, in different global regions. The trialled novel lure-and-kill approach is a low-cost potential vector control tool against ZVL in the Americas.