Long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual sprays are the cornerstones of malaria prevention, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. But 60 countries have already reported resistance to at least one class of insecticide used in them.
Chlorfenapyr – a new approach
Part of the problem is that there were previously only four WHO-recommended insecticide classes for adult mosquito control: Only one of them, the pyrethroid class, was recommended for long-lasting insecticide treated nets. Continual use of the same insecticides enabled the highly-adaptable mosquito to develop significant levels of resistance. Alternatives are urgently needed.
Chlorfenapyr is a completely new insecticide class to combat mosquitoes in public health. It belongs to the pyrrole class of chemistry and has an entirely different mode of action to other WHO-recommended insecticides. It works by disrupting the insect’s ability to produce energy. This makes it unlikely to show cross-resistance in mosquitoes that are resistant to currently registered public health insecticides.
Chlorfenapyr was derived by isolating a toxin from the Streptomyces fumanus actinomycete bacterium. Although it is new to the public health market, it has been used in agriculture and urban pest control, including in homes and food handling areas, worldwide since 1995.
But exactly how does chlorfenapyr work? Watch our video to find out.