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The role of vector control in stopping the transmission of malaria: threats and opportunities

Hemingway, Janet ORCID: (2014) 'The role of vector control in stopping the transmission of malaria: threats and opportunities'. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, Vol 369, Issue 1645, e20130431.

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Malaria control, and that of other insect borne diseases such as dengue, is heavily dependent on our ability to control the mosquito populations that transmit these diseases. The major push over the last decade to reduce the global burden of malaria has been driven by the distribution of pyrethroid insecticide-treated bednets and an increase in coverage of indoor residual spraying (IRS). This has reduced malaria deaths by a third. Progress towards the goal of reducing this further is threatened by lack of funding and the selection of drug and insecticide resistance. When malaria control was initially scaled up, there was little pyrethroid resistance in the major vectors, today there is no country in Africa where the vectors remain fully susceptible to pyrethroids. The first pyrethroid resistance mechanisms to be selected produced low-level resistance which had little or no operational significance. More recently, metabolically based resistance has been selected, primarily in West Africa, which in some mosquito populations produces more than 1000-fold resistance. As this spreads the effectiveness of pyrethroid-based bednets and IRS will be compromised. New public health insecticides are not readily available. The pipeline of agrochemical insecticides that can be re-purposed for public health dried up 30 years ago when the target product profile for agricultural insecticides shifted from broad spectrum, stable, contact-acting insecticides to narrow spectrum stomach poisons that could be delivered through the plant. A public–private partnership, the Innovative Vector Control Consortium, was established in 2005 to stimulate the development of new public health pesticides. Nine potential new classes of chemistry are in the pipeline, with the intention of developing three into new insecticides. While this has been successfully achieved, it will still take 6–9 years for new insecticides to reach the market. Careful management of the resistance situation in the interim will be needed if current gains in malaria control are not to be reversed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 600 Insect control. Tick control
WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 110 Prevention and control of communicable diseases. Transmission of infectious diseases
WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 240 Disinfection. Disinfestation. Pesticides (including diseases caused by)
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 765 Prevention and control
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Martin Chapman
Date Deposited: 22 May 2014 10:38
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:07


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