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Open Access Did microbial larviciding contribute to a reduction in malaria cases in eastern Botswana in 2012–2013?

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Setting: Larviciding has potential as a component of integrated vector management for the reduction of malaria transmission in Botswana by complementing long-lasting insecticide nets and indoor residual sprays.

Objective: To evaluate the susceptibility of local Anopheles to commonly used larvicides.

Design: This field test of the efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israliensis vs. Anopheles was performed by measuring larval density before treatment and 24 h and 48 h after treatment in seven sites of Bobirwa district, eastern Botswana, in 2012 and 2013. Vector density and malaria cases were compared between Bobirwa and Ngami (northwestern Botswana), with no larviciding in the control arm.

Results: Larviciding reduced larval density by 95% in Bobirwa in 2012, with two cases of malaria, while in 2013 larval density reduction was 81%, with 11 cases. Adult mosquito density was zero for both years in Robelela village (Bobirwa), compared to respectively four and 26 adult mosquitoes per room in Shorobe village (Ngami) in 2012 and 2013. There were no cases of malaria in Robelela in either year, but in Shorobe there were 20 and 70 cases, respectively, in 2012 and 2013.

Conclusion: Larviciding can reduce the larval density of mosquitoes and reduce malaria transmission in Botswana. Large-scale, targeted implementation of larviciding in districts at high risk for malaria is recommended.
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Keywords: Anopheles; Bacillus thuringiensis; larval density; larval source management

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Gaborone, Botswana 2: National Malaria Programme, Botswana Ministry of Health, Gaborone, Botswana 3: World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office for Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana 4: Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, Belgium 5: Inter-Country Support Team, WHO, Harare, Zimbabwe 6: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France 7: Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), Eldoret, Kenya

Publication date: April 25, 2018

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  • Public Health Action (PHA), The Union's quarterly open access on-line journal, provides a platform for its mission 'Health solutions for the poor'. PHA addresses the need for show-casing operational research that addresses issues in health systems and services. It publishes high-quality scientific research that provides new knowledge to improve access, equity, quality and efficiency of health systems and services.

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