New research shows poor insecticide policy led to countless unnecessary cases of malaria

New research shows poor insecticide policy led to countless unnecessary cases of malaria


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A new study into the use of insecticides in mosquito nets has shown that thousands of people contracted malaria needlessly due to policy failure, according to an expert at University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland.

writing in the diary the lancetProfessor Gerry Killeen, AXA Research Chair in Pathogen Ecology at UCC, says the results of a large-scale trial of bed nets treated with two insecticides, rather than just one, clearly demonstrate how big an impact such combinations of active ingredients can have on the extraordinary disease burden caused by malaria in rural Africa.

Professor Killeen was commenting on research by Manfred Acrombessi and his team in Benin, also published in the lancet.

It showed that because mosquitoes have evolved to tolerate pyrethroids, a class of insecticides the world has relied on to prevent malaria, children sleeping under bed nets treated only with this active ingredient still contract malaria once a year in average, while their neighbors with double infection. ingredient networks got sick at only half that rate.

Professor Killeen, who co-authored the commentary with Dr Seynabou Sougoufara at Keele University, says this landmark paper also demonstrates that this type of net with two or more insecticides should have been approved for widespread use long ago.

“By using two or more active ingredients, these combined nets can decisively eliminate insecticide-resistant mosquito variants before they have a chance to multiply, thereby preventing resistance from establishing itself in entire mosquito populations in the first place.” commented Professor Killeen.

“Crucially, pyrethroids are exceptionally useful insecticides for public health purposes: in addition to being the standard treatment for bed nets, they are also the only class of insecticide that can be safely dispersed in the air as a vapor repellent, to protect people living in areas with malaria. areas when they are awake and active out of the protective reach of their nets.

“It is currently unclear whether the genie of pyrethroid resistance can be put back in the bottle, but that is exactly why our ongoing work in collaboration with the Ifakara Institute of Health and the University of Agriculture in Sokoine in Tanzania is so important,” said Professor Killeen.

“Looking ahead, with the hope that new insecticide combinations can be used to reselect for pyrethroid-susceptibility traits that make it easier to protect people against mosquitoes and malaria, our team is currently surveying areas of wildlife conservancy in southern Tanzania, looking for malaria vector mosquitoes that have escaped insecticide pressure by feeding on wild animals rather than humans or livestock,” he said.

More information:
Staying ahead of insecticide-resistant mosquito vectors of malaria, the lancet (2023). DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(23)00102-2

Provided by University College Cork

Citation: New Research Shows Poor Insecticide Policy Led to Countless Unnecessary Malaria Cases (January 24, 2023) Accessed January 24, 2023 at -policy-countless-needless.html

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