The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of infections, hundreds of thousands of deaths and major societal disruption due to lockdowns and other restrictions introduced to limit disease spread. Relatively little attention has been paid to understanding how the pandemic has affected treatment, prevention and control of malaria, which is a major cause of death and disease and predominantly affects people in less well-resourced settings.
Bed nets are the commonest malaria prevention tool and arguably the most cost-effective. Their efficacy is because they prevent mosquito bites (a function of physical durability and integrity), and kill mosquitoes (a function of chemical content and mosquito susceptibility). This essay follows the story of bed nets, insecticides and malaria control, and asks whether the nets must always have insecticides.
Between 2011 and 2018, an estimated 134.8 million pyrethroid-treated long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) were distributed nationwide in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for malaria control. Pyrethroid resistance has developed in DRC in recent years, but the intensity of resistance and impact on LLIN efficacy was not known. Therefore, the intensity of resistance of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) to permethrin and deltamethrin was monitored before and after a mass distribution of LLINs in Kinshasa in December 2016, and in 6 other sites across the country in 2017 and 11 sites in 2018.
No abstract available
The efficacy of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) in preventing malaria in Africa is threatened by insecticide resistance. Bioassays assessing 24-hour mortality post-LLIN exposure have established that resistance to the concentration of pyrethroids used in LLINs is widespread. However, although mosquitoes may no longer be rapidly killed by LLIN exposure, a delayed mortality effect has been shown to reduce the transmission potential of mosquitoes exposed to nets. This has been postulated to partially explain the continued efficacy of LLINs against pyrethroid-resistant populations. Burkina Faso is one of a number of countries with very high malaria burdens and pyrethroid-resistant vectors, where progress in controlling this disease has stagnated. We measured the impact of LLIN exposure on mosquito longevity in an area of the country with intense pyrethroid resistance to establish whether pyrethroid exposure was still shortening mosquito lifespan in this setting.