Despite Threat Of Drug Resistance, Insecticide-Treated Bednets Still Most Effective Method To Prevent Malaria Transmission
The Conversation: Malaria: should we abandon insecticide-treated bednets?
Mafalda Viana, research fellow at the University of Glasgow, and Angela Hughes, laboratory manager/PhD student
“…A new study we’ve published in PNAS shows that although [drug] resistant mosquitoes don’t die immediately on contact with insecticide-treated bednets, their risk of death in the days and weeks following contact is greatly increased. … The problem with the widespread use of insecticide-treated bednets is that many mosquitoes have now become highly resistant to these chemicals. … To worsen the problem, there is only one type of insecticide that can be safely used to treat bednets. So when mosquitoes become fully resistant, we could enter an era where our primary weapon against malaria can no longer be used and the public health gains achieved so far reversed. … By making new insecticidal products — or finding alternative or other complementary solutions — we may be able to start killing these resistant mosquitoes again. As we wait for these developments, we should continue to use mosquito insecticide-treated bednets. Despite the rapid spread of insecticide resistance, they are still the most effective method to prevent malaria transmission” (7/11).