New mosquito net technology to combat insecticide resistance

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insecticide-treated nets are the most important tool we have to prevent malaria PLoS ONE

A new type of mosquito net which combines two classes of insecticide has been shown to kill resistant mosquitoes that survive exposure to standard pyrethroid-treated nets.

The authors of the study describe the findings as a breakthrough in the development of new types of long-lasting insecticide treated nets, which can meet the challenge of malaria control where standard nets show signs of failing due to insecticide resistance. The research was conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Malaria still kills hundreds of thousands each year and long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN) that kill malaria-transmitting mosquitoes are the most widely-used method to prevent the disease. Over half the population of sub-Saharan Africa now sleep under LLIN and this has helped to reduce malaria cases by a third over the last 15 years. 

Until now, nets have been wholly dependent on pyrethroids as the only class of insecticide that is safe to use on LLIN. Resistance to the pyrethoids in malarial mosquitoes has become common across Africa in recent years and threatens further progress unless new types of insecticide which are safe to use on LLIN can be developed.

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