ONLINE MAPPING SYSTEM HELPS FIGHT MALARIA BY TRACKING MOSQUITO RESISTANCE TO INSECTICIDES USED TO PREVENT MALARIA.
Posted by African Press International on April 28, 2013
- By Dickens Wasonga,
The first online mapping tool to track insecticide resistance in mosquitoes that cause malaria has been launched .
The interactive website, called IR Mapper (www.irmapper.com), identifies locations in more than 50 malaria-endemic countries where mosquitoes have developed resistance to the insecticides used in bed nets and indoor residual sprays.
IR Mapper incorporates the just-released World Health Organization (WHO) revised criteria for reporting insecticide resistance which is designed to detect it earlier.
With the most comprehensive and up-to-date information, the IR Mapper helps direct which vector control tools should be deployed in areas of high resistance.
Progress has been made against the disease due largely to wide scale use of insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor residual spraying (IRS). But the rapid spread of resistance in malaria-carrying mosquitoes to insecticides used in bed nets and sprays threatens current malaria control efforts.
Resistance among Anopheles malaria vectors has been reported in 64 countries, with parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and India of greatest concern.
A population is considered susceptible if almost all die. Until recently, resistance was confirmed by survival of more than 20 percent in this test.
The new guidelines from WHO reduced this threshold value to 10 percent, meaning that resistance will be reported earlier. This change is an indication of the concern insecticide resistance is causing globally.
For instance, users can examine the resistance status of single or multiple Anopheles species to one or more insecticides within their region of interest.
This can be the basis for a “go” or “no go” decision on a particular insecticide for deployment on nets or in sprays. Data can also be viewed for specified time periods, to identify any existing trends in resistance over time.