Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


AVECNET Result In Brief

Project reference: 265660
Funded under: FP7-HEALTH

New tools for malaria control

Despite considerable success in combating malaria, new tools and interventions are still needed to target mosquitoes that evade current vector-control strategies. An EU-funded initiative worked with partners in Africa to develop new approaches for controlling the insects and reducing malaria cases.
New tools for malaria control
Malaria prevention is best achieved by controlling the mosquito, described as a vector, which transmits the Plasmodium parasite that causes the disease. In Africa, the use of indoor residual spraying (IRS) and long-lasting insecticide-impregnated bednets (LLINs) coupled with effective drug treatment has resulted in an impressive decrease in malaria cases in some regions.

The 'African vector control: New tools' (AVECNET) project was a collaborative initiative between African and European researchers that is developing and testing new methods for malaria control. The project aims to ensure the sustainability of current interventions such as IRS and LLINs, while developing new tools for controlling mosquitoes. Furthermore, scientists are investigating how best to adapt control strategies to changing disease transmission dynamics.

Mechanisms behind the unprecedented increases in levels of resistance in mosquitoes to available insecticides were identified by scientists, who developed tools to manage the phenomenon in the field. New insecticides for combating susceptible and resistant mosquito populations are being evaluated. To facilitate in vitro screening of new insecticidal products. AVECNET scientists also developed recombinant proteins representing the key mosquito detoxification enzymes.

Trials on sisal sacking treated with a spatial repellent have been extended following promising results, as were two trials of insecticides that targeted the mosquito's larval stage. New traps were developed for collecting mosquitoes that displayed different resting and host-seeking behaviours, underlining the importance of outdoor transmission under dissimilar settings. Physiological studies of the cuticle identified important differences between susceptible and resistant mosquitoes.

The AVECNET project is performing a clinical trial on a new combination bednet in Burkina Faso to see if it is better able to control pyrethroid resistant populations. Researchers are also developing tools to support evidence-based decision making for employing the most suitable control interventions. These include a non-lethal tracking system for monitoring mosquitoes in the dark and the use of geographical information systems (GIS) for targeting larval populations.

AVECNET is reinforcing the EU's contribution to the global fight against malaria by strengthening research partnerships and capacity building in Africa. This includes onsite training and mentoring as well as the sponsoring of African scientists. The consortium is also mapping key stakeholders and defining processes at the national and international levels to facilitate the uptake of the new vector control tools.

Thanks to the work of AVECNET, the fight against malaria will continue, safeguarding the lives of people in Africa as well as around the world.

Related information

Record Number: 90660 / Last updated on: 2014-05-29
Domain: Biology, Medicine