The insecticide bendiocarb not only dramatically lowers malaria transmission, but also offers hope for minimising spread of the deadly infection.
Scientists with Benin’s Entomologic Research Center in Cotonou, Western Africa, evaluated the effects of bendiocarb in homes throughout the country over an eight-month period in 2009.
They found that after “indoor residual spraying” (IRS) on walls, none of the 350,000 household members living in treated homes “received infected bites” from the malaria-carrying mosquito anopheles gambiae, The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene reports.
Moreover, none of the mosquitoes collected from the treated homes tested positive for the plasmodium falciparum — the world’s most deadly malaria parasite, according to an Entomologic Research statement.
The absence of infected bites and parasites was seen as evidence that malaria transmission had fallen in an area where mosquitoes have developed resistance to permethrin and other members of a popular class of insecticides known as pyrethroids.
“Our success in drastically reducing malaria transmission by spraying homes with bendiocarb, which is not a pyrethroid, is very important because pyrethroid-resistance is emerging not just in Benin but also in Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Cameroon and many other African countries,” said Gil Germain Padonou, medical entomologist and study co-author.