Do holes in long-lasting insecticidal nets compromise their efficacy against pyrethroid resistant Anopheles gambiae and Culex quinquefasciatus? Results from a release-recapture study in experimental huts.

Abstract : Resistance of malaria vectors to pyrethroids threatens the effectiveness of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) as a tool for malaria control. Recent experimental hut and observational studies in Benin show that pyrethroid resistance reduces the insecticidal effect and personal protection of LLINs especially when they become torn. The World Health Organization has proposed a threshold for when nets are "too torn" at 1,000 cm(2) for rectangular holes and 790 cm(2) for round holes. This study examines whether there is a threshold above which LLINs no longer reduce malaria transmission. Intact and artificially-holed LLINs under three months old and untreated nets were tested by releasing mosquitoes from a susceptible Anopheles gambiae colony, a pyrethroid-resistant An. gambiae population and a resistant Culex quinquefasciatus population in closed experimental huts in Southern Benin, West Africa. The efficacy of LLINs and untreated nets was evaluated in terms of protection against blood feeding, insecticidal effect and potential effect on malaria transmission. Personal protection by both LLINs and untreated nets decreased exponentially with increasing holed surface area, without evidence for a specific threshold beyond which LLINs could be considered as ineffective. The insecticidal effect of LLINs was lower in resistant mosquitoes than in susceptible mosquitoes, but holed surface area had little or no impact on the insecticidal effect of LLINs. LLINs with 22,500 cm(2) holed surface area and target insecticide content provided a personal protection of 0.60 (95 % CI 0.44-0.73) and a low insecticidal effect of 0.20 (95 % CI 0.12-0.30) against resistant An. gambiae. Nevertheless, mathematical models suggested that if 80 % of the population uses such nets, they could still prevent 94 % (95 % CI 89-97 %) of transmission by pyrethroid-resistant An. gambiae. Even though personal protection by LLINs against feeding mosquitoes is strongly reduced by holes, the insecticidal effect of LLINs is independent of the holed surface area, but strongly dependent on insecticide resistance. Badly torn nets that still contain insecticide have potential to reduce malaria transmission. The relationship between LLIN integrity and efficacy needs to be understood in order to guide LLIN distribution policy.
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Malaria Journal, BioMed Central, 2015, 14 (1), pp.332. 〈10.1186/s12936-015-0836-7〉
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Sanjiarizaha Randriamaherijaona, Olivier J T Briët, Sébastien Boyer, Aziz Bouraima, Raphael N'Guessan, et al.. Do holes in long-lasting insecticidal nets compromise their efficacy against pyrethroid resistant Anopheles gambiae and Culex quinquefasciatus? Results from a release-recapture study in experimental huts.. Malaria Journal, BioMed Central, 2015, 14 (1), pp.332. 〈10.1186/s12936-015-0836-7〉. 〈pasteur-01191561〉

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