Thursday, August 29, 2013

A study finds that larvae control cuts malaria cases

Nick Kennedy in Targeting mosquito larvae could cut malaria cases by up to 75 per cent in some sites, a review published today has found. The Cochrane review reports that a set of control methods, known collectively as larval source management (LSM), which kill mosquito larvae before they become malaria-carrying adults, could dramatically cut the disease's spread.

In some places, where the environmental conditions are right, this control method could reduce the number of people infected with the parasite by as much as 90 per cent, according to the review.

LSM techniques, which include draining land, adding larvicide to standing water or introducing animals that eat mosquito larvae, could boost malaria control efforts at a particularly challenging time for global malaria control.

"Malaria control is currently faced by various challenges, such as resistance to the main antimalarial drugs and insecticides, and new tools such as LSM are going to be increasingly needed," says lead author Lucy Tusting, a researcher from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom.

Some malaria-endemic countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are already implementing LSM programmes, but there has been a lack of consensus on how effective the method is. Tusting and her team's report is the first large-scale review of the effectiveness of larval source management...

Mosquito larvae, shot by either Fir0002 or Fui in terra aliena (not sure which), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Subject to disclaimers.

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