For the first time in more than 30 years, WHO has recommended an insecticide-treated mosquito net that uses a new class of insecticide for malaria prevention, according to a press release.
The product, Interceptor G2, is based on chlorfenapyr — a chemical that has been used in agriculture and urban pest control since 1995 but was recently repurposed by researchers at BASF, the Innovative Vector Control Consortium and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to combat mosquitoes, the release said.
The only other insecticide class that WHO has recommended for long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets is pyrethroid, according to the release. Continual use of it, however, increases the risk for resistance.
“We’ve got to take insecticide resistance very seriously,” Hilary Ranson, MSc, PhD, professor in medical entomology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said in the release. “In some countries, the local mosquito population has increased its level of resistance 1,000 fold. It has been years since a new class of public health insecticide has appeared on the market. Alternatives are urgently needed.”
In addition to Interceptor G2, the German-based chemical company BASF announced that another chlorfenapyr product — an indoor residual spray known as Sylando 240SC — is also in the final stages of WHO evaluation. The efficacy of both products was demonstrated during independent trials conducted in Benin, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Ivory Coast.
BASF anticipates that Interceptor G2 will be available to health ministries and aid organizations toward the end of this year.
“New resistance management products are desperately needed to prevent mosquito-borne diseases and save lives,” Egon Weinmueller, head of BASF’s public health business, said in the release. “This development breakthrough strengthens my personal belief that we really can be the generation to end malaria for good.”
Disclosure: Weinmueller is an employee of BASF.