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Emerg Infect Dis. 2012 Jul;18(7):1101-6. doi: 10.3201/eid1807.120218.

Loss of household protection from use of insecticide-treated nets against pyrethroid-resistant mosquitoes, benin.

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  • 1London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.


Pyrethroid resistance is becoming widespread in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, coinciding with expanded use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) throughout Africa. To investigate whether nets in use are still protective, we conducted household trials in northern and southern Benin, where An. gambiae mosquitoes are susceptible and resistant, respectively, to pyrethroids. Rooms were fitted with window traps and monitored for mosquito biting and survival rates before and after the nets were treated with pyrethroid. Sleeping under an ITN in the location with resistant mosquitoes was no more protective than sleeping under an untreated net, regardless of its physical condition. By contrast, sleeping under an ITN in the location with susceptible mosquitoes decreased the odds of biting by 66%. ITNs provide little or no protection once the mosquitoes become resistant and the netting acquires holes. Resistance seriously threatens malaria control strategies based on ITN.

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