March 09, 2009
Georgia Southern University Professor Dr. Tom Kollars Invents Device to Reduce Deaths from Mosquito-Borne Illnesses
The ProVector is unique in its environmentally-friendly manner of killing mosquitoes
More than 500 million people worldwide are infected with malaria each year, killing one to three million people, many of them children. Georgia Southern University professor Tom Kollars hopes his invention, the ProVector Bt, will drastically reduce those numbers.
“If we can make a dent in that, I can go out of this world knowing I made it a better place,” said Kollars, the director of the Biodefense and Infectious Disease Laboratory in Georgia Southern’s Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health.
The ProVector targets mosquitoes that carry deadly diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus. In blind trials conducted by a Walter Reed Army Institute of Research overseas laboratory, the ProVector killed 50 to 100 percent of mosquitoes within days.
The small device is essentially an artificial flower, made out of the same type of plastic used for football helmets. Mosquitoes are drawn to the ProVector by a four-color decal (different mosquito species are attracted to different colors).
The insect feeds on an artificial nectar through a metal screen with openings big enough for only a mosquito’s mouth parts to fit through. Kollars' work in developing the ProVector Bt formula is unique in that it is the first time anyone has been able to get mature mosquitoes to ingest and die from Bacillus thurengiensis (Bt), a safe biopesticide.
The ProVector comes in two models: the ProVector Bt, which kills the mosquito within a few days of eating the bait, and the ProVector M, which kills the malaria parasite inside the mosquito, leaving the mosquito to survive and serve its role in the environment without infecting humans.
“We trick the mosquitoes into coming right to it and eating it,” Kollars said. “This is a very environmentally-friendly apparatus that uses a safe biopesticide, so it can be safely used in the home. No pesticides are sprayed into the environment.”
The homes where Kollars envisions ProVectors are in tropical and subtropical regions. People in those areas live in forests and fields, in huts without basic things that many of us in the United States take for granted, like air conditioning and windows with screens. Bed nets have been a tremendous tool in reducing mosquito-borne illnesses, but have proven to be only seven percent effective in children under six months old. The bed nets also develop holes over time and mosquitoes have become resistant to the pesticides used on the nets, Kollars said.
“Hundreds to thousands of mosquitoes can go into a home in one night,” he said. “Think of living in the Everglades with nothing covering your windows.”
Kollars says he spent about 10 years perfecting the ProVector – working out of his garage and spending “over a hundred-thousand dollars” of his own money to develop it – and now that is all paying off. Kollars patented the idea and then licensed the patent to Medical Infusion Technologies, Inc., which plans to begin manufacturing and marketing the ProVector this year.
What makes the ProVector such a viable tool, Kollars says, is its cost-effectiveness. The devices will sell for about $10 apiece. About every three months, it will need a $1 bait refill.
“The average Kenyan, for example, spends about $110 a year out of their $360 a year salary to treat their family for malaria alone. That’s one disease,” Kollars said. “A health department could buy this device for the family, and then the family could protect itself for $4 a year instead of $110 a year.”
Kollars recently returned from Puerto Rico, where he tested the ProVector in a real jungle environment. He and Dr. Steven Hatfill, an infectious disease physician, set up a simulated village of 14 tents, each with a ProVector inside. They spent three weeks in the jungle, and will return in seven months to see how well the devices fare in extreme tropical conditions to reduce the mosquito population.
ProVector Bt is currently being used to reduce mosquito populations around homes in Afghanistan. Next month, Kollars will visit and provide the ProVector Bt to a school in Thailand to help reduce the number of children contracting dengue, which kills up to 40 percent of children contracting the disease. In May, Kollars will travel to Kenya to conduct field research with the U.S. Army, and he will also travel to Uganda to begin epidemiology research with the Ministry of Health with the goal of reducing the number of malaria cases.
Kollars and two assistants continue to conduct ProVector laboratory and field experiments at Georgia Southern University. They recently presented their research in Vienna, Austria, and Heidi Hulsey, Kollars’ doctoral student in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, will present at the American Mosquito Control Association in New Orleans.
“We’re potentially going to save hundreds of thousands of lives,” Kollars said. “What more could a person want in the public health profession, than to make such an impact?”
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers 116 degree programs serving nearly 18,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education.
Doctor Says His Latest Invention Could Help Save Lives
Reported by: David Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgia Southern professor Dr. Tom Kollars was busy setting up mosquito traps in Bulloch County today. Georgia Southern professor Dr. Tom Kollars was busy setting up mosquito traps in Bulloch County today.
Mosquitoes might be small, but they pack a powerful punch. During the summer, mosquitoes in several areas in Chatham County were found to carry the West Nile virus. They can also carry several other potentially deadly diseases.
Now one doctor says he has a way to prevent the spread of those diseases.
Georgia Southern professor Dr. Tom Kollars was busy setting up mosquito traps in Bulloch County today, looking for a way to stop the spread of disease. Kollars has tested hundreds of mosquitoes and says that close to 60 percent of those that ingest the malaria parasite could get infected with the potentially deadly disease.
But after working in southeast Asia, he saw firsthand what this deadly disease could do.
"We saw patients and children with malaria and dengue fever," said Dr. Kollars. "About 40 percent of children die and there's no treatment or vaccine, there's no drug for dengue, while there's drug resistance to malaria."
So he came up with what he calls a solution. It's called Provector. It looks like a flower, only it uses a chemical to attract the mosquito.
"Female mosquitoes have to get food sources, blood meals and nectar and fruit juices used for energy to fly. They'll feed on nectar and sugar sources ten times more than blood because they need it for energy," said Dr. Kollars.
Once mosquitoes take in the antiviral formula in the traps, it works with their system to block the development of the disease, killing it but not the mosquito.
Dr Kollars says not only will his invention help save lives, but it will be cost effective.
"Well for example, the average family in Kenya spends $110 treating their family with malaria. We're trying to make this device very cost effective at five to ten dollars, where someone can put this in their home," said Dr. Kollars.
Through his research, Dr. Kollar's treatment has knocked down the number of infected mosquitoes to two percent.
"We have a chance here to be involved with preventing hundreds of millions from dying and getting sick and it's a blessing," said Dr. Kollars.
Dr. Kollars says, right now they are developing the formula for malaria and dengue fever and then working on others for West Nile, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever. This is an environmentally safe product and should available in about a year.
This project is a collaborative effort involving Mev Labs Incorporated, MIT Incorporated and Georgia Southern University.
Reported by: David Hall, email@example.com
FORMULATIONS AND DEVICES FOR DELIVERING COMPOUNDS TO ARTHROPODS AND MICROORGANISMS WITHIN ARTHOPODS
Applicant(s): MEVLABS INC [US]; KOLLARS THOMAS [US]
Classification: - international: A01N25/08; A01N25/08
Abstract -- Described herein are formulations and devices for delivering compounds to arthropods and microorganisms within the arthropods. The formulations are generally composed of a sugar and the compound, wherein the compound targets a particular pathogen or other microorganism within the arthropod, kills the arthropod, or a combination thereof.
Insect / Arthropod Trap
Inventor: MASTERS EDWIN [US] ; KOLLARS THOMAS M JR
Applicant: TICKS OR MOSQUITOES L L C [US]
EC: A01M1/10C; A01M1/02C; (+4) IPC: A01M1/14; A01M1/02; A01M1/10; (+3)
Inventor(s): MASTERS EDWIN [US]; KOLLARS THOMAS M JR [US]; WOLF DAVID [US]
Applicant(s): TICKS OR MOSQUITOES L L C [US]
Classification: - international: A01M1/14; A01M1/02; A01M1/10; A01M1/22; A01M1/00; A01M1/02- European: A01M1/10C; A01M1/02C; A01M1/10F; A01M1/14; A01M1/14B; A01M1/22
Abstract -- A disposable insect and/or arthropod trapping device that generates its own attractants of carbon dioxide (CO2), lactic acid and/or ammonia through the chemical reaction of adding a weakly acidic liquid such as vinegar (acetic acid) to solids such as baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), with the optional addition or substitution of urea and/or lactic acid. The liquids are mixed over a period of hours or days onto the solids to generate CO2 in the vicinity of an insect/arthropod trap having an insect-debilitating surface that traps the insects and arthropods when they alight on the surface. The container may have a cylindrical shape with an upper and lower chamber with fly paper attached to the container. The fly paper may be secured to the base and/or top portions of the container, or there may be fly paper like appendages to trap insects attracted by emitted gases.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008 12:26 PM
MIT Holding, Inc.: Independent certification and validation of ProVectorTM Completed by Georgia Southern University
MIT Holding, Inc. (OTCB: MITD)
The Georgia Southern University Research and Service Foundation located in Statesboro, GA, advised MIT on November 27, 2008 it had successfully completed its independent Validation and Certification of ProVectorTM Models under contract by MIT, Holding Inc.; portions of the study available on-line at www.mitholdinginc.com.
MIT can now offer for public use the first of the new line of ProVectorTM products developed by Dr. Tom Kollars from MEVLABS, Inc. and Pro Vector, LLC and licensed to MIT. ProVectorTM Bt (patent pending) is an economical and environmentally safe device for killing adult mosquitoes. The parts include a plastic flower with colors, chemical attractants and a refill containing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bt) biopesticide. One refill lasts from three to six months depending on the size of the mosquito population.
ProVectorTM Bt is unique because it is the first commercially available device to imitate a flower to which adult mosquitoes come to feed on Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bt) pesticide. It was designed with the philosophy of keeping “Green” and made of virtually indestructible plastic which reduces waste and it only allows mosquitoes to feed on it, eliminating the spread of pesticides into the environment. The device includes a flower with color, chemical attractants, and a refill containing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bt) biopesticide. One refill will last from three to six months depending on the size of the mosquito population.
The active biopesticide Bt, is short for Bacillus thuringiensis, is a bacteria that has been studied by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and found Bt safe enough to be exempt from food residue tolerances, groundwater restrictions, species labeling and special review requirements. Bt has historically been used to treat water sources in order to kill mosquito larvae as they filter in water. However, adult mosquitoes do not live in water and have different feeding habits than larvae. In addition to blood, most female mosquitoes feed on sugar sources for energy and all male mosquitoes use sugar sources. The ProVectorTM imitates the look and taste of flowers in order to trick the adult mosquitoes into eating Bt. Dr. Kollars and his staff have had astonishing results with their ProVectorTM Bt formulation, having a kill rate of over 80% in 24 hours and 100% within a week in the laboratory.
ProVectorTM Bt seeks to achieve low cost and safety by using Bt in a contained manner without spreading it to the environment. MIT Holding is pleased to team with MEVLABS, Inc. and ProVector, LLC to provide the ProVectorTM Bt as another tool in the arsenal of public health officials and pest management professionals in their fight to battle mosquitoes and save lives.