New insecticide-treated mosquito net to fight against malaria

African Review WHO insecticideNew insecticide mosquito net introduced to fight malaria. (Image source: Shutterstock)BASF has introduced a new class of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria 

The World Health Organisation approved the Interceptor® G2, the first insecticide it has recommended in more than 30 years.

Scientists from the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine collaborated to create the chlorfenapyr-coated bed net, which has already been trialled successfully in Benin, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Côte d'Ivoire.

Dave Malone, IVCC technical manager, said, “The collaboration with BASF gave us access to an insecticide with a rare combination of attributes: New to public health, effective against resistant mosquitoes, and able to coat polyester netting with a long-lasting formulation.”

BASF will now start preparations to launch Interceptor G2 for malaria prevention. Depending on local registration processes, the new mosquito net is expected to be available to health ministries and aid organizations starting towards the end of this year. “New resistance management products are desperately needed to prevent mosquito-borne diseases and save lives,” said Egon Weinmueller, head of BASF’s public health business. “This development breakthrough strengthens my personal belief that we really can be the generation to end malaria for good.”

A second chlorfenapyr product, an indoor residual spray named Sylando® 240SC, is also in the final phases of a WHO evaluation.

Medical entomologist professor Hilary Ranson from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said, “We’ve got to take insecticide resistance very seriously. In some countries, the local mosquito population has increased its level of resistance 1,000-fold. It has been years since a new class of public health insecticide has appeared on the market. Alternatives are urgently needed.”

Long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets (LN) and indoor residual sprays are the cornerstones of malaria prevention, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. But 60 countries have already reported resistance to at least one class of insecticide used in them. Part of the problem is that there were previously only four WHO recommended insecticide classes for adult mosquito control: Only one of them, the pyrethroid class, was recommended for LNs. Continual use of the same insecticides enabled the highly-adaptable mosquito to develop significant levels of resistance.

Around the world, every two minutes a child dies from malaria and there are more than 200 million new cases every year. Malaria is also a major cause of global poverty and its burden is greatest among the most vulnerable.

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