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Militarized Formulation and EPA Registerable Attractive Targeted Sugar Bait for Insect Vector Control


OBJECTIVE: Develop sugar-based vector control bait product, formulated and packaged for military use, with potential for EPA registration. Product must use insecticides effective for killing target vectors, but have low mammalian toxicity and minimal impacts on non-targets. DESCRIPTION: Protection of deployed ground forces from disease-carrying insects requires the immediate and safe use of insecticides. Alternative methods such as biological control are too slow and not practical under battlefield conditions. Vector-borne diseases transmitted by insects, such as malaria, dengue and leishmaniases, are increasing world-wide and are more of a threat to our military forces today than they were 30 years ago. Unfortunately, insects that transmit militarily important diseases are now becoming resistant to an increasing number of public health insecticides used for indoor residual sprays and space spray (aerosol) applications with little global R & D underway to search for replacements. Backed by a series of recent publications showing excellent efficacy, one potential solution with global implications involves the development and commercialization of an EPA registered attractive toxic sugar bait for controlling mosquitoes and other biting flies, formulated for use by the military. In addition to a blood meal where pathogen transmission occurs, most human vector species also require sugar meals as normal dietary requirements. Sugar meals are generally obtained from floral and extra-floral nectaries, plant juices, and honey dew (excretions from plant sucking bugs) and are commonly found throughout a typical ecosystem. Attractive sugar bait barriers or bait stations containing a toxicant that selectively attract and kill vectors is a novel and potentially useful vector control technique with great utility in many military situations. The military needs an attractive sugar bait formulation containing insecticide selective for killing vector species, but having little attractiveness or impact on non-targets such as honeybees and other beneficial arthropod. The DoD Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB) has identified the need for additional pesticides for controlling malaria vectors/new EPA-registered pesticides for public health use as one of its top six research priorities for military entomology (AFPMB 2011). New pesticides and pesticide application techniques will provide military entomologists and vector control specialists a valuable additional tool to control insects that impact military operations. A powdered or other easily transferred sugar bait toxicant for vector control will maximize the utility by making a relatively safe, effective and easily transported product that will fill a major gap in our ability to stop or prevent nuisance biting or disease vectors during military operations. The purpose of this project is to develop an EPA registerable attractive toxic sugar bait product for vector control that is safe, effective, easily applied and has a minimal impact on non-target insects. Product must be formulated for safe, easy transport, capable of being applied using standard military application equipment and have a long shelf life. PHASE I: This phase of the SBIR should focus on lab development of an effective attractive sugar bait toxicant and formulation that is effective for target vectors (mosquitoes, sand flies, filth flies) and has a minimum impact on non-target insects. This product must meet requirements for EPA registration and have a shelf life and formulations (wettable powder or liquid concentrate) suitable for use by the military. PHASE II: During the Phase II portion of this SBIR, the awardee will develop the prototype formulation and toxicant and run field tests showing efficacy against target vectors and impacts to non-targets. Product must be entered into EPA registration process. PHASE III: The proposed SBIR has commercial applications outside of the military. This sort of novel vector control product could be used in global public health vector control organizations (both governmental and non-governmental). At the completion of a successful Phase II, the company should seek final EPA approval and funding from either a private company for commercialization of the product or through advanced development funding. The product resulting from this SBIR should be considered for NSN assignment so that it may be readily purchased by military and other US governmental organizations. REFERENCES: 1. Armed Forces Pest Management Board. 2011. Department of Defense Research Requirements for Pest Management for FYs 2011-2012, signed 24 May 2011. 2. Allan, S.A. 2011. Susceptibility of adult mosquitoes to insecticides in aqueous sucrose baits. J. Vector Ecol., 36: 59-67. 3. Avant, S. 2012. DWFP: A Battle Plan to protect U.S. Troops From harmful insects. Agricultural Research, 60(10): 4-14. 4. Beier, J.C., G.C. Mller, W. Gu, K.L. Arheart, & Y. Schlein,2012. Attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB) methods decimate populations of Anopheles malaria vectors in arid environments regardless of the local availability of favored sugar-source blossoms. Malar. J., 11:31. 5. Gu, W., G.C. Mller, Y. Schlein, R. Novak & J.C. Beier, 2011. Natural plant sugar sources strongly impact malaria transmission potential of Anopheles mosquitoes. PLoS One 6: e15996. 6. Junnila, A., G.C. Mller & Y. Schlein, 2011. Attraction of Phlebotomus papatasi to common fruit in the field. J. Vector Ecol., 36: 206-211. 7. Mller, G.C., J.C. Beier, S. F. Traore et al., 2010. Successful field trial of attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB) plant-spraying methods against malaria vectors in the Anopheles gambiae complex in Mali, West Africa. Malar. J., 9: 210. 8. Mller, G.C., J.C. Beier, S.F. Traore et al., 2010. Field experiments of Anopheles gambiae s.l. attractiveness to local fruits/ seed pods and flowering plants in Mali to optimize strategies for malaria vector control in Africa using attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB) methods. Malar. J., 9: 262. 9. Mller, G.C., Junnila, A., W. Qualls et al., 2010. Control of Culex quinquefasciatus in a storm drain system in Florida with attractive toxic sugar baits (ATSB). Med.Vet. Ent., 24: 346351. 10. Mller, G.C., A. Junnila & Y. Schlein, 2010. Effective control of adult Culex pipiens by spraying an attractive toxic sugar bait solution in the vegetation near larval developmental sites. J. Med. Ent., 47: 63-66. 11. Mller G.C., V.D. Kravchenko & Y. Schlein, 2008. Decline of Anopheles sergentii and Aedes caspius populations following presentation of attractive, toxic (Spinosad), sugar bait stations in an oasis. J. Am. Mosq. Control Assoc., 24: 147149. 12. Mller, G.C., E. E. Revay & Y. Schlein, 2011. Relative attraction of the sand fly Phlebotomus papatasi to local flowering plants in the Dead Sea region. J. Vector Ecol., 36: 187-194. 13. Mller G.C. & Y. Schlein, 2006. Sugar questing mosquitoes in arid areas gather on scarce blossoms that can be used for control. Int. J. Parasit., 36: 1077-1080. 14. Mller, G.C. & Y. Schlein, 2008. Efficacy of toxic sugar baits against adult cistern-dwelling Anopheles claviger. Trans. Roy. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg., 102: 480-484. 15. Mller, G.C. & Y. Schlein, 2011. Different methods of using attractive toxic sugar baits (ATSB) for the control of Phlebotomus papatasi. J. Vector Ecol., 36: 64-70. 16. Mller, G.C., R.D. Xue & Y. Schlein, 2011. Differential attraction of Aedes albopictus in the field to flowers, fruits and honeydew. Acta Trop., 118:45-49. 17. Qualls, A.W., R.D. Xue, E.E. Revay, S. Allan & G.C. Mller, 2012. Implications for control of mosquitoes breeding and resting in cisterns and wells in St. Augustine, Florida by attractive toxic sugar baits (ATSB). Acta Trop., 124: 158161. 18. Schlein, Y. & G.C. Mller, 2008. An approach to mosquito control: Using the dominant attraction of flowering Tamarix jordanis trees against Culex pipiens. J. Med. Ent., 45: 384-390. 19. Schlein, Y & G.C. Mller, 2010. Experimental control of Phlebotomus papatasi by spraying attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB) on vegetation. Trans. Roy. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg., 104: 766-771. 20. Schlein, Y. & G.C. Mller, 2012. Diurnal resting behavior of adult Culex pipiens in an arid habitat in Israel and resulting possible control measurements with attractive toxic sugar baits (ATSB). Acta Trop., 124: 4853. 21. Xue, R.D., G.C. Mller, D.L. Kline, D.R. Barnard, 2011. Effect of application rate and persistence of boric acid sugar baits applied to plants for control of Aedes albopictus. J. Am. Mosq. Control Assoc., 27: 56-60.
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