Browsing by Author "Torr, Stephen J."
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- ItemClimate change and African trypanosomiasis vector populations in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley : a mathematical modelling study(Public Library of Science, 2018) Lord, Jennifer S.; Hargrove, John W.; Torr, Stephen J.; Vale, Glyn A.Background: Quantifying the effects of climate change on the entomological and epidemiological components of vector-borne diseases is an essential part of climate change research, but evidence for such effects remains scant, and predictions rely largely on extrapolation of statistical correlations. We aimed to develop a mechanistic model to test whether recent increases in temperature in the Mana Pools National Park of the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe could account for the simultaneous decline of tsetse flies, the vectors of human and animal trypanosomiasis. Methods and findings: The model we developed incorporates the effects of temperature on mortality, larviposition, and emergence rates and is fitted to a 27-year time series of tsetse caught from cattle. These catches declined from an average of c. 50 flies per animal per afternoon in 1990 to c. 0.1 in 2017. Since 1975, mean daily temperatures have risen by c. 0.9˚C and temperatures in the hottest month of November by c. 2˚C. Although our model provided a good fit to the data, it cannot predict whether or when extinction will occur. Conclusions: The model suggests that the increase in temperature may explain the observed collapse in tsetse abundance and provides a first step in linking temperature to trypanosomiasis risk. If the effect at Mana Pools extends across the whole of the Zambezi Valley, then transmission of trypanosomes is likely to have been greatly reduced in this warm low-lying region. Conversely, rising temperatures may have made some higher, cooler, parts of Zimbabwe more suitable for tsetse and led to the emergence of new disease foci.
- ItemEfficacy of electrocuting devices to catch tsetse flies (Glossinidae) and other diptera(PLoS, 2015-10) Vale, Glyn A.; Hargrove, John W.; Cullis, N. Alan; Chamisa, Andrew; Torr, Stephen J.Background: The behaviour of insect vectors has an important bearing on the epidemiology of the diseases they transmit, and on the opportunities for vector control. Two sorts of electrocuting device have been particularly useful for studying the behaviour of tsetse flies (Glossina spp), the vectors of the trypanosomes that cause sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in livestock. Such devices consist of grids on netting (E-net) to catch tsetse in flight, or on cloth (E-cloth) to catch alighting flies. Catches are most meaningful when the devices catch as many as possible of the flies potentially available to them, and when the proportion caught is known. There have been conflicting indications for the catching efficiency, depending on whether the assessments were made by the naked eye or assisted by video recordings. Methodology/Principal Findings: Using grids of 0.5m2 in Zimbabwe, we developed catch methods of studying the efficiency of E-nets and E-cloth for tsetse, using improved transformers to supply the grids with electrical pulses of ~40kV. At energies per pulse of 35–215mJ, the efficiency was enhanced by reducing the pulse interval from 3200 to 1ms. Efficiency was low at 35mJ per pulse, but there seemed no benefit of increasing the energy beyond 70mJ. Catches at E-nets declined when the fine netting normally used became either coarser or much finer, and increased when the grid frame was moved from 2.5cm to 27.5cm from the grid. Data for muscoids and tabanids were roughly comparable to those for tsetse. Conclusion/Significance: The catch method of studying efficiency is useful for supplementing and extending video methods. Specifications are suggested for E-nets and E-cloth that are ~95% efficient and suitable for estimating the absolute numbers of available flies. Grids that are less efficient, but more economical, are recommended for studies of relative numbers available to various baits.
- ItemExplaining the host-finding behavior of blood-sucking insects : computerized simulation of the effects of habitat geometry on tsetse fly movement(PLoS, 2014-06) Vale, Glyn A.; Hargrove, John W.; Solano, Philippe; Courtin, Fabrice; Rayaisse, Jean-Baptiste; Lehane, Michael J.; Esterhuizen, Johan; Tirados, Inaki; Torr, Stephen J.Background: Male and female tsetse flies feed exclusively on vertebrate blood. While doing so they can transmit the diseases of sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in domestic stock. Knowledge of the host-orientated behavior of tsetse is important in designing bait methods of sampling and controlling the flies, and in understanding the epidemiology of the diseases. For this we must explain several puzzling distinctions in the behavior of the different sexes and species of tsetse. For example, why is it that the species occupying savannahs, unlike those of riverine habitats, appear strongly responsive to odor, rely mainly on large hosts, are repelled by humans, and are often shy of alighting on baits? Methodology/Principal Findings: A deterministic model that simulated fly mobility and host-finding success suggested that the behavioral distinctions between riverine, savannah and forest tsetse are due largely to habitat size and shape, and the extent to which dense bushes limit occupiable space within the habitats. These factors seemed effective primarily because they affect the daily displacement of tsetse, reducing it by up to ,70%. Sex differences in behavior are explicable by females being larger and more mobile than males. Conclusion/Significance: Habitat geometry and fly size provide a framework that can unify much of the behavior of all sexes and species of tsetse everywhere. The general expectation is that relatively immobile insects in restricted habitats tend to be less responsive to host odors and more catholic in their diet. This has profound implications for the optimization of bait technology for tsetse, mosquitoes, black flies and tabanids, and for the epidemiology of the diseases they transmit.
- ItemExploring the potential of using cattle for malaria vector surveillance and control : a pilot study in western Kenya(Biomed Central, 2017) Njoroge, Margaret M.; Tirados, Inaki; Lindsay, Steven W.; Vale, Glyn A.; Torr, Stephen J.; Fillinger, UlrikeBackground: Malaria vector mosquitoes with exophilic and zoophilic tendencies, or with a high acceptance of alternative blood meal sources when preferred human blood-hosts are unavailable, may help maintain low but constant malaria transmission in areas where indoor vector control has been scaled up. This residual transmission might be addressed by targeting vectors outside the house. Here we investigated the potential of insecticide-treated cattle, as routinely used for control of tsetse and ticks in East Africa, for mosquito control. Methods: The malaria vector population in the study area was investigated weekly for 8 months using two different trapping tools: light traps indoors and cattle-baited traps (CBTs) outdoors. The effect of the application of the insecticide deltamethrin and the acaricide amitraz on cattle on host-seeking Anopheles arabiensis was tested experimentally in field-cages and the impact of deltamethrin-treated cattle explored under field conditions on mosquito densities on household level. Results: CBTs collected on average 2.8 (95% CI: 1.8–4.2) primary [Anopheles gambiae (s.s.), An. arabiensis and An. funestus (s.s.)] and 6.3 (95% CI: 3.6–11.3) secondary malaria vectors [An. ivulorum and An. coustani (s.l.)] per trap night and revealed a distinct, complementary seasonality. At the same time on average only 1.4 (95% CI: 0.8–2.3) primary and 1.1 (95% CI: 0.6–2.0) secondary malaria vectors were collected per trap night with light traps indoors. Amitraz had no effect on survival of host-seeking An. arabiensis under experimental conditions but deltamethrin increased mosquito mortality (OR 19, 95% CI: 7–50), but only for 1 week. In the field, vector mortality in association with deltamethrin treatment was detected only with CBTs and only immediately after the treatment (OR 0.25, 95% CI: 0.13–0.52). Conclusions: Entomological sampling with CBTs highlights that targeting cattle for mosquito control has potential since it would not only target naturally zoophilic malaria vectors but also opportunistic feeders that lack access to human hosts as is expected in residual malaria transmission settings. However, the deltamethrin formulation tested here although used widely to treat cattle for tsetse and tick control, is not suitable for the control of malaria vectors since it causes only moderate initial mortality and has little residual activity.
- ItemFactors affecting the propensity of tsetse flies to enter houses and attack humans inside : increased risk of sleeping sickness in warmer climates(PLoS, 2013-04) Vale, Glyn A.; Hargrove, John W.; Chamisa, Andrew; Hall, David R.; Mangwiro, Clement; Torr, Stephen J.Background: Sleeping sickness, or human African trypanosomiasis, is caused by two species of Trypanosoma brucei that are transmitted to humans by tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) when these insects take a bloodmeal. It is commonly assumed that humans must enter the normal woodland habitat of the flies to become infected, but recent studies found that tsetse frequently attack humans inside buildings. Factors affecting human/tsetse contact in buildings need identification. Methodology/Principal Findings: In Zimbabwe, tsetse were allowed access to a house via an open door. Those in the house at sunset, and those alighting on humans in the house during the day, were caught using hand-nets. Total catches were unaffected by: (i) the presence of humans in the house and at the door, (ii) wood smoke from a fire inside the house or just outside, (iii) open windows, and (iv) chemicals simulating the odor of cattle or of humans. Catches increased about 10-fold with rising ambient temperatures, and during the hottest months the proportion of the total catch that was taken from the humans increased from 5% to 13%. Of the tsetse caught from humans, 62% consisted of female G. morsitans morstans and both sexes of G. pallidipes, i.e., the group of tsetse that normally alight little on humans. Some of the tsetse caught were old enough to be effective vectors. Conclusion/Significance: Present results confirm previous suggestions that buildings provide a distinctive and important venue for transmission of sleeping sickness, especially since the normal repellence of humans and smoke seems poorly effective in such places. The importance of the venue would be increased in warmer climates.
- ItemImproving the cost-effectiveness of visual devices for the control of riverine tsetse flies, the major vectors of Human African Trypanosomiasis(Public Library of Science, 2011-08-02) Esterhuizen, Johan; Rayaisse, Jean Baptiste; Tirados, Inaki; Mpiana, Serge; Solano, Philippe; Vale, Glyn A.; Lehane, Michael J.; Torr, Stephen J.Control of the Riverine (Palpalis) group of tsetse flies is normally achieved with stationary artificial devices such as traps or insecticide-treated targets. The efficiency of biconical traps (the standard control device), 1×1 m black targets and small 25×25 cm targets with flanking nets was compared using electrocuting sampling methods. The work was done on Glossina tachinoides and G. palpalis gambiensis (Burkina Faso), G. fuscipes quanzensis (Democratic Republic of Congo), G. f. martinii (Tanzania) and G. f. fuscipes (Kenya). The killing effectiveness (measured as the catch per m2 of cloth) for small targets plus flanking nets is 5.5-15X greater than for 1 m2 targets and 8.6-37.5X greater than for biconical traps. This has important implications for the costs of control of the Riverine group of tsetse vectors of sleeping sickness. © 2011 Esterhuizen et al.
- ItemOptimal strategies for controlling riverine Tsetse Flies using targets : a modelling study(Public Library of Science, 2015-03) Vale, Glyn A.; Hargrove, John W.; Lehane, Michael J.; Solano, Philippe; Torr, Stephen J.Background: Tsetse flies occur in much of sub-Saharan Africa where they transmit the trypanosomes that cause the diseases of sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in livestock. One of the most economical and effective methods of tsetse control is the use of insecticide-treated screens, called targets, that simulate hosts. Targets have been ~1m2, but recently it was shown that those tsetse that occupy riverine situations, and which are the main vectors of sleeping sickness, respond well to targets only ~0.06m2. The cheapness of these tiny targets suggests the need to reconsider what intensity and duration of target deployments comprise the most cost-effective strategy in various riverine habitats. Methodology/Principal Findings: A deterministic model, written in Excel spreadsheets and managed by Visual Basic for Applications, simulated the births, deaths and movement of tsetse confined to a strip of riverine vegetation composed of segments of habitat in which the tsetse population was either self-sustaining, or not sustainable unless supplemented by immigrants. Results suggested that in many situations the use of tiny targets at high density for just a few months per year would be the most cost-effective strategy for rapidly reducing tsetse densities by the ~90% expected to have a great impact on the incidence of sleeping sickness. Local elimination of tsetse becomes feasible when targets are deployed in isolated situations, or where the only invasion occurs from populations that are not self-sustaining. Conclusion/Significance: Seasonal use of tiny targets deserves field trials. The ability to recognise habitat that contains tsetse populations which are not self-sustaining could improve the planning of all methods of tsetse control, against any species, in riverine, savannah or forest situations. Criteria to assist such recognition are suggested. Author Summary: We employed a deterministic model to simulate the efficacy of various ways of using the tiny, ~0.06m2, insecticide-treated targets recently recommended as replacements for the larger, ~1m2, types previously used to control riverine species of tsetse fly, the main vectors of sleeping sickness in humans. Results suggested that in many situations the use of tiny targets at treble the normal density for a third of the normal time could be the most cost-effective strategy for rapidly reducing or eliminating tsetse populations, so helping with disease control. In deciding whether to aim for local control or elimination, and in planning the operations, it would be highly advantageous to distinguish those parts of the tsetse infestation that support self-sustaining populations, and those containing populations that cannot be sustained unless supplemented by immigrants. Sorts of information that can help to assess the type of sustainability in field habitats are identified. These findings can assist the planning of any method of tsetse control used against any species of tsetse, including those important as vectors of livestock disease.
- ItemPyrethroid treatment of cattle for tsetse control : reducing its impact on dung fauna(PLoS, 2015-03) Vale, Glyn A.; Hargrove, John W.; Chamisa, Andrew; Grant, Ian F.; Torr, Stephen J.Background: African trypansomiases of humans and animals can be controlled by attacking the vectors, various species of tsetse fly. Treatment of cattle with pyrethroids to kill tsetse as they feed is the most cost-effective method. However, such treatments can contaminate cattle dung, thereby killing the fauna which disperse the dung and so play an important role in soil fertility. Hence there is a need to identify cost-effective methods of treating cattle with minimal impact on dung fauna. Methodology/Principal Findings: We used dung beetles to field bioassay the levels of dung contamination following the use of spray and pour-on formulations of deltamethrin, applied to various parts of the body of cattle in Zimbabwe. Results suggested that dung was contaminated by contact with insecticide on the body surface as the cattle defecated, and by ingestion of insecticide as the cattle licked themselves. Death of dung beetles was reduced to negligible levels by using only the spray and applying it to the legs and belly or legs alone, i.e., places where most tsetse feed. Conclusion/Significance: The restricted applications suitable for minimising the impact on dung fauna have the collateral benefits of improving the economy and convenience of cattle treatments for tsetse control. The demonstration of collateral benefits is one of the surest ways of promoting environmentally friendly procedures.
- ItemTowards an early warning system for Rhodesian sleeping sickness in Savannah Areas : man-like traps for tsetse flies(Public Library of Science, 2012-12) Vale, Glyn A.; Hall, David R.; Chamisa, Andrew; Torr, Stephen J.Background: In the savannahs of East and Southern Africa, tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) transmit Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense which causes Rhodesian sleeping sickness, the zoonotic form of human African trypanosomiasis. The flies feed mainly on wild and domestic animals and are usually repelled by humans. However, this innate aversion to humans can be undermined by environmental stresses on tsetse populations, so increasing disease risk. To monitor changes in risk, we need traps designed specifically to quantify the responsiveness of savannah tsetse to humans, but the traps currently available are designed to simulate other hosts. Methodology/Principal Findings: In Zimbabwe, two approaches were made towards developing a man-like trap for savannah tsetse: either modifying an ox-like trap or creating new designs. Tsetse catches from a standard ox-like trap used with and without artificial ox odor were reduced by two men standing nearby, by an average of 34% for Glossina morsitans morsitans and 56% for G. pallidipes, thus giving catches more like those made by hand-nets from men. Sampling by electrocuting devices suggested that the men stopped flies arriving near the trap and discouraged trap-entering responses. Most of human repellence was olfactory, as evidenced by the reduction in catches when the trap was used with the odor of hidden men. Geranyl acetone, known to occur in human odor, and dispensed at 0.2 mg/h, was about as repellent as human odor but not as powerfully repellent as wood smoke. New traps looking and smelling like men gave catches like those from men. Conclusion/Significance: Catches from the completely new man-like traps seem too small to give reliable indices of human repellence. Better indications would be provided by comparing the catches of an ox-like trap either with or without artificial human odor. The chemistry and practical applications of the repellence of human odor and smoke deserve further study.
- ItemTowards an optimal design of target for tsetse control : comparisons of novel targets for the control of Palpalis group tsetse in West Africa(PLoS, 2011-09) Rayaisse, Jean Baptiste; Esterhuizen, Johan; Tirados, Inaki; Kaba, Dramane; Salou, Ernest; Diarrassouba, Abdoulaye; Vale, Glyn A.; Lehane, Michael J.; Torr, Stephen J.; Solano, PhilippeBackground: Tsetse flies of the Palpalis group are the main vectors of sleeping sickness in Africa. Insecticide impregnated targets are one of the most effective tools for control. However, the cost of these devices still represents a constraint to their wider use. The objective was therefore to improve the cost effectiveness of currently used devices. Methodology/Principal Findings: Experiments were performed on three tsetse species, namely Glossina palpalis gambiensis and G. tachinoides in Burkina Faso and G. p. palpalis in Côte d'Ivoire. The 1×1 m2 black blue black target commonly used in W. Africa was used as the standard, and effects of changes in target size, shape, and the use of netting instead of black cloth were measured. Regarding overall target shape, we observed that horizontal targets (i.e. wider than they were high) killed 1.6-5x more G. p. gambiensis and G. tachinoides than vertical ones (i.e. higher than they were wide) (P<0.001). For the three tsetse species including G. p. palpalis, catches were highly correlated with the size of the target. However, beyond the size of 0.75 m, there was no increase in catches. Replacing the black cloth of the target by netting was the most cost efficient for all three species. Conclusion/Significance: Reducing the size of the current 1*1 m black-blue-black target to horizontal designs of around 50 cm and replacing black cloth by netting will improve cost effectiveness six-fold for both G. p. gambiensis and G. tachinoides. Studying the visual responses of tsetse to different designs of target has allowed us to design more cost-effective devices for the effective control of sleeping sickness and animal trypanosomiasis in Africa.
- ItemVegetation and the importance of insecticide-treated target siting for control of glossina fuscipes fuscipes(Public Library of Science, 2011-09-20) Esterhuizen, Johan; Njiru, Basilio; Vale, Glyn A.; Lehane, Michael J.; Torr, Stephen J.Control of tsetse flies using insecticide-treated targets is often hampered by vegetation re-growth and encroachment which obscures a target and renders it less effective. Potentially this is of particular concern for the newly developed small targets (0.25 high × 0.5 m wide) which show promise for cost-efficient control of Palpalis group tsetse flies. Consequently the performance of a small target was investigated for Glossina fuscipes fuscipes in Kenya, when the target was obscured following the placement of vegetation to simulate various degrees of natural bush encroachment. Catches decreased significantly only when the target was obscured by more than 80%. Even if a small target is underneath a very low overhanging bush (0.5 m above ground), the numbers of G. f. fuscipes decreased by only about 30% compared to a target in the open. We show that the efficiency of the small targets, even in small (1 m diameter) clearings, is largely uncompromised by vegetation re-growth because G. f. fuscipes readily enter between and under vegetation. The essential characteristic is that there should be some openings between vegetation. This implies that for this important vector of HAT, and possibly other Palpalis group flies, a smaller initial clearance zone around targets can be made and longer interval between site maintenance visits is possible both of which will result in cost savings for large scale operations. We also investigated and discuss other site features e.g. large solid objects and position in relation to the water's edge in terms of the efficacy of the small targets.
- ItemWhere, when and why do tsetse contact humans? Answers from studies in a National Park of Zimbabwe(PLoS, 2012-08) Torr, Stephen J.; Chamisa, Andrew; Mangwiro, T. N. Clement; Vale, Glyn A.Background: Sleeping sickness, also called human African trypanosomiasis, is transmitted by the tsetse, a blood-sucking fly confined to sub-Saharan Africa. The form of the disease in West and Central Africa is carried mainly by species of tsetse that inhabit riverine woodland and feed avidly on humans. In contrast, the vectors for the East and Southern African form of the disease are usually savannah species that feed mostly on wild and domestic animals and bite humans infrequently, mainly because the odours produced by humans can be repellent. Hence, it takes a long time to catch many savannah tsetse from people, which in turn means that studies of the nature of contact between savannah tsetse and humans, and the ways of minimizing it, have been largely neglected. Methodology/Principal Findings: The savannah tsetse, Glossina morsitans morsitans and G. pallidipes, were caught from men in the Mana Pools National park of Zimbabwe. Mostly the catch consisted of young G. m. morsitans, with little food reserve. Catches were increased by 4–8 times if the men were walking, not stationary, and increased about ten times more if they rode on a truck at 10 km/h. Catches were unaffected if the men used deodorant or were baited with artificial ox odour, but declined by about 95% if the men were with an ox. Surprisingly, men pursuing their normal daily activities were bitten about as much when in or near buildings as when in woodland. Catches from oxen and a standard ox-like trap were poor indices of the number and physiological state of tsetse attacking men. Conclusion/Significance: The search for new strategies to minimize the contact between humans and savannah tsetse should focus on that occurring in buildings and vehicles. There is a need to design a man-like trap to help to provide an index of sleeping sickness risk.
- ItemWing length and host location in tsetse (Glossina spp.) : implications for control using stationary baits(BMC (part of Springer Nature), 2019-01-11) Hargrove, John W.; English, Sinead; Torr, Stephen J.; Lord, Jennifer; Haines, Lee Rafuse; Van Schalkwyk, Cari; Patterson, James; Vale, GlynBackground: It has been suggested that attempts to eradicate populations of tsetse (Glossina spp.) using stationary targets might fail because smaller, less mobile individuals are unlikely to be killed by the targets. If true, tsetse caught in stationary traps should be larger than those from mobile baits, which require less mobility on the part of the flies. Results: Sampling tsetse in the Zambezi Valley of Zimbabwe, we found that the number of tsetse caught from stationary traps, as a percent of total numbers from traps plus a mobile vehicle, was ~5% for male G. morsitans morsitans (mean wing length 5.830 mm; 95% CI: 5.800–5.859 mm) and ~10% for females (6.334 mm; 95% CI: 6.329– 6.338 mm); for G. pallidipes the figures were ~50% for males (6.830 mm; 95% CI: 6.821–6.838 mm) and ~75% for females (7.303 mm, 95% CI: 7.302–7.305 mm). As expected, flies of the smaller species (and the smaller sex) were less likely to be captured using stationary, rather than mobile sampling devices. For flies of a given sex and species the situation was more complex. Multivariable analysis showed that, for females of both species, wing lengths changed with ovarian age and the month, year and method of capture. For G. pallidipes, there were statistically significant interactions between ovarian age and capture month, year and method. For G. m. morsitans, there was only a significant interaction between ovarian age and capture month. The effect of capture method was, however, small in absolute terms: for G. pallidipes and G. m. morsitans flies caught on the mobile vehicle had wings only 0.24 and 0.48% shorter, respectively, than flies caught in stationary traps. In summary, wing length in field samples of tsetse varies with ovarian age, capture month and year and, weakly, with capture method. Suggestions that a target-based operation against G. f. fuscipes in Kenya caused a shift towards a smaller, less mobile population of tsetse, unavailable to the targets, failed to account for factors other than capture method. Conclusions: The results are consistent with the successful use of targets to eradicate populations of tsetse in Zimbabwe. Until further, more nuanced, studies are conducted, it is premature to conclude that targets alone could not, similarly, be used to eradicate G. f. fuscipes populations in Kenya.