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Lancet Infect Dis. 2008 Jun;8(6):387-9. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(08)70045-8. Epub 2008 Mar 31.

Lessons from the past: managing insecticide resistance in malaria control and eradication programmes.

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Vector Group, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK.


The distribution of insecticide-treated bednets to help combat the burden of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa has accelerated in the past 5 years. Additionally, many countries are also considering, or have already begun, indoor residual spraying campaigns. These are positive developments, since vector control has repeatedly proven to be an effective means of reducing malaria transmission. However, the sustainability of these insecticide-based interventions relies on the continuing susceptibility of the anopheles vectors to the limited number of available insecticides. Continual monitoring for early signs of insecticide resistance and the adoption of carefully considered resistance management strategies are therefore required. Regrettably, this essential monitoring component is frequently given a low priority in the push to meet ambitious coverage targets. We outline the key requirements for establishing an insecticide resistance surveillance system and urge all those involved in malaria vector control, either directly or as facilitators, to ensure that these measures are incorporated into control programmes. Failure to act now will inevitably lead to a future breakdown in disease control and jeopardise hopes of eradicating this major public-health problem.

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