A comparison of use of a pyrethroid either for house spraying or for bednet treatment against malaria vectors
In an intensely malarious area in north-east Tanzania, microencapsulated lambdacyhalothrin was used in four villages for treatment of bednets (provided free of charge) and in another four villages the same insecticide was used for house spraying. Another four villages received neither intervention until the end of the trial but were monitored as controls. Bioassays showed prolonged persistence of the insecticidal residues. Light traps and ELISA testing showed reduction of the malaria vector populations and the sporozoite rates, leading to a reduction of about 90% in the entomological inoculation rate as a result of each treatment. Collections of blood fed mosquitoes showed no diversion from biting humans to biting animals. Incidence of re-infection was measured by weekly monitoring of cohorts of 60 children per village, after clearing pre-existing infection with chlorproguanil-dapsone. The vector control was associated with a reduction in probability of re-infection per child per week by 54-62%, with no significant difference between the two vector control methods. Cross-sectional surveys for fever, parasitaemia, haemoglobin and weight showed association of high parasitaemia with fever and anaemia and beneficial effects of each intervention in reducing anaemia. However, passive surveillance by resident health assistants showed no evidence for reduced prevalence of fever or parasitaemia. Net treatment consumed only about one sixth as much insecticide as house spraying and it was concluded that the former intervention would work out cheaper and nets were actively demanded by the villagers, whereas spraying was only passively assented to.