Sunday, October 16, 2011

Backup Insecticide Shows Promise Against Malaria

      Indoor spraying of a compound called bendiocarb may provide a backup now that  malaria mosquitoes are becoming resistant to  mainstay insecticides, a large study in Benin  suggests. But scientists say more alternatives  are urgently needed-if only because of bendiocarb's toxicity.
      Bendiocarb is a candidate replacement  for pyrethroids, compounds whose wide-spread use in indoor spraying and bednets  is  causing resistance in Anopheles mos-quitoes, the vector for malaria, especially  in West Africa. After government teams  carried out two rounds of spraying in 2008  and 2009 in an area in Benin where 350,000  people live, Anopheles bites fell by more han 90%, and traps didn't yield a single  infected mosquito, researchers reported last  week in The American Journal of Tropical  Medicine and Hygiene.
       Bendiocarb, which inhibits a brain  enzyme called acetylcholinesterase, is  among a dozen insecticides approved by the  World Health Organization for malaria control, but safety concerns led manufacturers
to voluntarily withdraw it from the U.S. mar-ket in 1999. Beninese teams did not spray  in low-lying areas prone to flooding, where  they feared toxic run-off into local waters.



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