A modular and novel assay system for rapid mass screening of chemical compounds for contact irritant and spatial repellent actions against adult mosquitoes is described. The responses of Aedes aegypti to various concentrations of 3 topical repellents, deet, Bayrepel®, and SS220, were evaluated. At treatment concentrations ≥25 nmol/cm2 of SS220, mosquitoes exhibited significant contact irritant (escape) and spatial repellent (movement away from the chemical source) responses, whereas, a 10-fold increase in the treatment concentration of deet and Bayrepel was required to produce similar responses. The novel bioassay system detected contact irritancy and spatial repellency activity with reproducible results and provided baseline data for determining minimum effective concentrations for other chemicals. The system is compact in size, easy to decontaminate, and requires only a minute quantity of chemical compound.
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Vol. 21 • No. 4