Complete series method (CSM): a convenient method to reduce daily heterogeneity when evaluating the regeneration time (RT) of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs)

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Parasit Vectors. 2024 May 22;17(1):235. doi: 10.1186/s13071-024-06323-4.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: “Regeneration time” (RT) denotes the time required to obtain a stable mortality rate for mosquitoes exposed to insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) after three consecutive washes of a net in a day. The RT informs the wash interval used to artificially age ITNs to simulate their lifetime performance under user conditions (20 washes). RT was estimated following World Health Organization (WHO) longitudinal method (LM) procedures. Longitudinal evaluation may introduce heterogeneity due to mosquito batch variability, complicating RT determination. To overcome this, nets at each stage of regeneration (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 days post wash) were prepared in advance and refrigerated; then, a complete regeneration series was tested with a single mosquito batch on 1 testing day, completing four series over 4 days. This study compared the complete series method (CSM) against the LM.

METHODS: The overall heterogeneity in the methods for estimating RT of one incorporated alpha-cypermethrin and piperonyl butoxide (PBO) and one incorporated permethrin with PBO ITNs was determined using laboratory-reared resistant Anopheles arabiensis under standard laboratory conditions. LM methods and CSM were compared in two experiments with refrigerated nets acclimated for (i) 2 h (test 1) and (ii) 3 h (test 2). Four regeneration replicates per day were tested per ITN product with 50 mosquitoes exposed per replicate (equivalent sample size to LM). The heterogeneity from these methods was compared descriptively.

RESULTS: The intra-method variability for unwashed pieces was minimal, with variance of 1.26 for CSM and 1.18 for LM. For unwashed nets, LM had substantially greater variance and ratio of LM:CSM was 2.66 in test 1 and 2.49 in test 2. The magnitude of mortality measured in bioassays depended on sample acclimation after refrigeration.

CONCLUSIONS: The CSM is a convenient method for determining the regeneration times. ITNs are prepared in advance, reducing pressure to prepare all samples to start on a single day. A complete regeneration series of samples is removed from the refrigerator, defrosted and evaluated on a single day with one mosquito batch reducing the influence of mosquito batch heterogeneity on results. Replicates can be conducted over several days but do not have to be conducted on consecutive days, allowing easy facility scheduling.

PMID:38778423 | DOI:10.1186/s13071-024-06323-4