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London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Malaria Centre

Malaria research in vector studies

Replacing DDT: Rigorous evaluation of spatial repellents for the control of vector borne diseases.

LSHTM investigators:
Sheila Ogoma, Peter Sangoro, Marta Maia, Lena Lorenz, Ann Kelly, Raphael N’Guessan & Sarah Moore.
Funding body:
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Insecticide treated nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) are the preferred techniques for malaria vector control in Africa, where their application has already contributed to significant reductions in the burden of the disease.

However, there remains a proportion of malaria transmission that is transmitted by early evening feeding mosquitoes that bite and rest outdoors. One solution to this problem is spatial repellents that continuously protect people within a space from mosquito bites without the need for people to remember to apply repellents.

The main aim of this research is to devise effective means of quantifying the effects of spatial repellents, as they are a new paradigm in the field of vector control. The research will provide industry with a target product profile (TPP) for spatial repellents to advise on the development of new and effective vector control products.

Both field and laboratory assays have been developed to characterise the mode of action of spatial repellents. This will be used to inform new WHO spatial repellent guidelines that are currently being developed. Data on the TPP will be available later in the year.