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Control of zoophilic malaria vectors by applying pyrethroid insecticides to cattle

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The principal method of malaria control in South and West Asia – indoor residual spraying – is extravagant with insecticide. A more efficent way of deploying insecticide might be to apply it on livestock since the malaria vectors in the region are highly zoophilic. A series of investigations assessed the potential of cattle treated with pyrethroid to control zoophilic mosquitoes. Permethrin, deltamethrin, and lambdacyhalothrin were applied to cattle using a sponge at concentrations of 0.5 g/m2, 0.025 g/m2, and 0.025 g/m2, respectively. ‘Whole animal’ insecticide bioassays that simulated natural mosquito-host contact were used to measure insecticidal and behavioural effects on wild host-seeking mosquitoes. The bioassays were performed on both sheltered and outdoor grazing animals for up to 45 days post-treatment. The possibility that treatments might cause diversion of host-seeking vectors from cattle to people nearby was also investigated. At the doses tested deltamethrin had the most pronounced and longest-lasting effect, reducing the proportion of bloodfed survivors by over 50% for the first two weeks. The majority of mosquitoes affected by the insecticide were killed before feeding. Insecticidal impact was generally lower on grazing than on sheltered animals. There was no diversion of host-seeking mosquitoes from treated cattle to nearby humans at any stage after treatment. The application of insecticide to livestock using a campaign approach may prove an effective means of controlling malaria in the region. At the doses tested deltamethrin is the most appropriate insecticide for this purpose.
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Keywords: Afghanistan; Pakistan; bioassay; cattle; deltamethrin; insecticidal ear tags; lambdacyhalothrin; livestock; malaria; permethrin; pyrethroids; refugee camps

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: HealthNet International, University Town, Peshawar, Pakistan

Publication date: 1999-07-01

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