Experimental hut and bioassay evaluation of the residual activity of a polymer-enhanced suspension concentrate (SC-PE) formulation of deltamethrin for IRS use in the control of Anopheles arabiensis

Richard M Oxborough, Jovin Kitau, Franklin W Mosha, Mark W Rowland
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The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) came into effect in 2004; the use of DDT for malaria control has been allowed to continue under exemption since then due to a perceived absence of equally effective and efficient alternatives. Alternative classes of insecticide for indoor residual spraying (IRS) have a relatively short residual duration of action (2-6 months according to WHO). In areas of year-round transmission multiple spray cycles are required, resulting in significantly higher costs for malaria control programs and user fatigue. This study evaluated performance of a new formulation of deltamethrin (pyrethroid) with polymer (SC-PE) to prolong the effective residual action to >6 months.


Deltamethrin SC-PE was evaluated alongside an existing water dispersible granule (WG) formulation and DDT water dispersible powder (WP) in laboratory and hut bioassays on mud, concrete, palm thatch and plywood substrates. An experimental hut trial was conducted in Lower Moshi Rice Irrigation Zone, Tanzania from 2008-2009 against wild, free-flying, pyrethroid susceptible An. arabiensis. Performance was measured in terms of insecticide-induced mortality, and blood-feeding inhibition. Bioassays were carried out monthly on sprayed substrates to assessresidual activity.


Bioassays in simple huts (designed for bioassay testing only) and experimental huts (designed for testing free flying mosquitoes) showed evidence that SC-PE improved longevity on mud and concrete over the WG formulation. Both deltamethrin SC-PE and WG outperformed DDT in bioassays on all substrates tested in the laboratory and simple huts. In experimental hut trials SC-PE, WG and DDT produced high levels of An. arabiensis mortality and the treatments were equivalent over nine months┬┐ duration. Marked seasonal changes in mortality were recorded for DDT and deltamethrin treatments, and may have been partly influenced by outdoor temperature affecting indoor resting duration of mosquitoes on sprayed surfaces, although no clear correlation was demonstrated.


There is a limited range of alternative insecticides forIRS, and deltamethrin SC-PE is likely to have an important role as part of a rotation strategy with one or more different insecticide classes rotated annually, particularly in areas that currently have low levels of pyrethroid resistance or low LLIN coverage and year-round malaria transmission.