Long-lasting insecticidal nets, or LLINs, have significantly reduced malaria morbidity and mortality over the past two decades. The net provides a physical barrier that decreases human-mosquito contact and the impregnated insecticide kills susceptible mosquito vectors upon contact and may repel them. However, the future of LLINs is threatened as resistance to pyrethroids is now widespread, the chemical arsenal for LLINs is very limited, time from discovery of next-generation insecticides to market is long, and persistent transmission is frequently caused by vector populations avoiding contact with LLINs.
Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) such as malaria, dengue, and leishmaniasis exert a huge burden of morbidity and mortality worldwide, particularly affecting the poorest of the poor. The principal method by which these diseases are controlled is through vector control, which has a long and distinguished history. Vector control, to a greater extent than drugs or vaccines, has been responsible for shrinking the map of many VBDs. Here, we describe the history of vector control programmes worldwide from the late 1800s to date.
Approximately 120 years ago the link between mosquito and the malaria transmission was discovered. However, even today it remains an open question whether the parasite is able to direct the blood-seeking and feeding behavior of its mosquito vector to maximize the probability of transmission. If the parasite has this ability, could it occur only through the alteration of the vertebrate host’s volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and/or the parasite alteration of the behavior of the infected vector in a manner that favors its transmission?
Despite historical and contemporary evidence of its effectiveness, larval source management with insecticides remains little used by most malaria control programs worldwide. Here we show that environmentally safe biological larvicides under field conditions can significantly reduce anopheline larval density in fish farming ponds that have became major larval habitats across the Amazon Basin.