Comparison of standard and modified human landing catching techniques for blackflies in the era of onchocerciasis elimination

Main objectives

  • To determine if a modified human landing catching (HLC) which provides protection against biting of flies can serve as an effective but ethical alternative to a standard human landing catch
Specific objectives:
  • To compare biting rates between standard HLC and modified HLC techniques
  • To compare biting rates amongst different colour shades known to be attractive to blackflies
  • To compare physiological status of flies collected by the standard HLC with those collected on the modified HLC
  • To compare seasonal variation on the collection of flies on the colour-attractant human bait


Human landing catch (HLC) is the standard sampling method for collecting human-biting blackflies, however, there are ethical concerns regarding exposure of vector collectors to infective flies. Despite this limitation, its use continues as no method has been found suitable to replace it. Entomological evaluations requiring large fly catches are critical for stopping mass drug administration (MDA) and verification of onchocerciasis elimination. With many countries entering elimination phase, alternative methods should be found. This study will evaluate a modified HLC where vector collectors will be protected by coloured-socks attractive to blackflies allowing them to land on the human but preventing biting.

Study details
Start date
August 2020
Finish date
August 2021
12 months
Main contact
Kareen Atekem
NTDs Research Coordinator
  • Ministry of Health Cameroon