Development of traps and targets for integrated control of Dipteriae Simulium spp, Glossina spp, Tabanidae and Chrysops spp along Comoe River in Burkina Faso

Onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness, is still a major cause of blindness in Burkina Faso. The disease is caused by worms that are transmitted by insects called black flies. Human Landing Collection, whereby a human volunteer captures flies as they land on their body to take a bloodmeal, remains the gold standard method to sample blackflies in African countries. However, this method is ethically questionable, as human volunteers are at potentially increased risk of exposure to disease. The WHO and endemic countries plan to eliminate river blindness by 2025 using ivermectin treatment. The elimination phase requires the continuous surveillance of the worms in blackflies populations. This proposed research aims to develop a trap to replace Human Landing Collection and ensure the ethical monitoring of the black flies. The development of such a trap would aid efforts to eliminate onchocerciasis in Burkina Faso and other endemic countries.