DOST appeals for public support to local technology vs. dengue

DAVAO CITY  (MindaNews/18 June) —  Secretary Mario G. Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has appealed to the public to support its Ovicidal/Larvicidal (OL) Trap, a locally-manufactured technology to fight dengue.

Montejo said some Filipino companies have applied for license to manufacture the OL Trap, a three-component system that attracts the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes then kills the eggs and larvae.

The OL Trap was developed by Dr. Lilian A. delas Llagas of the College of Public Health of the Manila campus of the University of the Philippines.

The Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI)  and Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, all DOST support agencies, manufactured the early batches of sachets given to local government units while a Bulacan-based company, Heritage Veterinary Group, was expected to produce the first commercial batch of the OL Traps after it was awarded in summer the first license to manufacture the patented mixture.

Montejo, said the OL Trap “uses simple technology: the black color to attract the mosquitoes, the lawanit stick with ridges to hold the eggs, and Piper nigrum (paminta) that attracts and kills the eggs (ova) and larvae of the Anopheles and Aedes mosquitoes.”

“The  OL Trap is non-toxic, natural, and organic, so it is always safe to use. It is also less expensive compared with commercial mosquito solutions,” he said in a DOST statement. He assured that before the OL Trap was launched by DOST, “it went through rigorous laboratory studies and field testings”.

Citing laboratory studies, Montejo said the Aedes aegypti laid 70 percent of the eggs in the OL trap with 1:1000 ppm of paminta solution, and only 30 percent in the OL trap with water alone. The number of Aedes aegypti eggs in the paminta pellet (1:1000 concentration) dissolved in water was two times more compared with plain water.

Larvicidal assay showed that 98 percent of the Aedes larvae were killed after 48 hours exposure to the paminta solution, he added.

“Based [also] on field tests done in 150 households in Quezon City and 150 households in Marikina City using paminta pellets at 1:1000 ppm, more eggs were laid on the paminta solution compared with plain water. Moreover, 85 percent of the larvae were killed in the paminta solution. There were only 15 percent of the larvae that grew into adults, compared with 100 percent of the larvae that grew in plain water,” the DOST statement said.

In Regon 8 where the OL Trap was launched in February this year, findings from seven barangays showed that  the OL Trap with pellet attracted more mosquitoes compared with the OL Trap without the pellet.  “This is consistent with the laboratory and the field testing results in both Quezon City and Marikina City,” the DOST statement added.

The dengue incidence in the same barangays also registered much lower in January to June of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. For example, in Northern Samar, there were 74 cases of dengue in the same period last year compared with none or zero this year; while in Leyte, there were 190 cases last year compared with three this year.

“However, this finding should be interpreted with caution because there are still many other confounding and intervening factors that could have produced these results,” the DOST said. It did not elaborate.

Montejo said that the DOST “thus enjoins the public to support the OL Trap because it is one of DOST’s solutions in its multi-pronged approach in fighting the dengue problem in the Philippines. The development of the OL Trap strengthens the government’s fight against the dengue mosquito.”

The DOST has targeted the LGUs and the Department of Health to popularize the use of the OL Trap among households across the country. “In the continuous fight against dengue, the DOST is embarking on dengue control research program which includes early detection of and warning systems for dengue infection among individual,” he said. (MindaNews)