Filipino researchers are taking the fight against dengue right down to households where the health menace starts.
A research team from the Industrial Technology Development Institute of the Department of Science and Technology began field tests September 24 on its Ovicidal Trap System (OTS) for mosquitoes in Quezon City and Marikina City, respectively.
OTS is designed to significantly shrink the reproductive activities of mosquitoes through lure and catch. The month-long field tests covering 250 households in Barangays [villages] Bagbag in QC and Nangka in Marikina aim to validate the effectiveness of OTS.
The OTS kits will be collected every fifth day of each week for laboratory examination at the ITDI facility in Bicutan, Taguig City.
OTS is a simple trap system made of ordinary tin can (regular size evaporated milk) painted black and a strip of lawanit board (1 x 6.5 x 1/2 in.). An all-natural solution is poured into the can and by capillary action moistens the board. The moist lawanit board becomes like an ideal nest for female aedes mosquito (FAM) to lay its eggs on.
The tin can serves as the platform where reproductive activity happens. Inside it is a lawanit strip where the FAM supposedly would lay eggs until they hatch while the ovicidal solution, which also works as FM attractant, kills the eggs and larva in the process.
Based on ITDI laboratory tests, the OTS wipes out 100% of FAM eggs and larva.
ITDI researchers worked on OTS for a year and did tests initially on a laboratory scale followed by field testing in Metro Manila for one month. If the field tests in Marikina City and Quezon turn out successful, DOST will put OTS into action nationwide.
Only the female aedes mosquito carries the dengue virus. It feeds on proteins from human blood to be able to produce and lay as many as 200 eggs in one laying cycle. It lives for only three to four weeks and lays eggs thrice during its lifetime.
It would only take a few hours for the eggs to hatch, about 80% of them female, and almost a week for the larva to become adult mosquito.
Department of Health data showed that from January to August 28 this year, the total number of dengue cases reached 69,594.said that the OTS field tests show that DOST works hard in tapping local technologies to mitigate or manage local public health problems.