Recent Advances in Insecticides for Malaria Programs

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  • Technical Development Laboratories, Laboratory Division, Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, Health Services and Mental Health Administration, U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Savannah, Georgia 31402


Insecticides, particularly DDT, continue to be the mainstay in malaria programs. However, the specter of failure because of insecticide resistance has led to considerable research on substitute materials. These substitutes may be used as residual applications, space sprays, and/or larvicides. The steps in selecting these compounds go from initial screening to determine biological activity to large-scale field trials which may include epidemiological assessment.

Residual type compounds currently being evaluated include organophosphorus compounds such as fenitrothion, iodofenphos, phenthoate, phoxim and chlorphoxim, and carbamates such as propoxur, carbaryl, Mobam and Landrin.

Chemicals for use as space sprays include malathion, naled, fenthion, and others. Larvicidal compounds include Abate, chlorpyrifos, and methyl Dursban in addition to some of the aforementioned compounds.

Malathion, propoxur, and fenitrothion are the compounds that should receive initial consideration for use against vector populations resistant to DDT residual applications. The pesticide of choice as a space spray is malathion; as a larvicide, Abate. As a solution to the control of vectors that transmit malaria through outdoor biting, it appears logical that the chemical control measures employed in the future may include all three types of application.