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End of the Line for Malaria Mosquitoes?

MELBOURNE, Australia, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers in The Netherlands have achieved outstanding success in blocking the lifecycle of the mosquitoes which transmit malaria.

The trials were conducted by Tullu Bukhari and Bart Knols, mosquito researchers at Wageningen University, on a silicone-based liquid which spreads instantly across standing water. The liquid forms a very thin surface film, impacting on mosquitoes at every stage of their lifecycle.

The research, which will soon be published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, has shown excellent efficacy of the product against the most important Asian and African malaria vectors.

"All of the pupae in the water died within 2 hours of application of the product, and none of the larvae went to the pupa stage," Dr Knols said. "In addition, no eggs were laid on the treated water."

"Most attention has been focussed on adult mosquitoes through bed nets and indoor spraying, but this product targets the junior end of the scale," he said.

The product, called Aquatain AMF, was originally designed for controlling evaporation from large water bodies, and is marketed for that purpose as well as for mosquito control.

According to the Australian inventor of the product, Graham Strachan, Aquatain AMF's physical action has two major benefits over traditional mosquito control products which have a chemical action. "Firstly, the environmental impacts are minimal; and secondly, mosquitoes can't develop a resistance to the product," he said. "The liquid is safe to use on all types of water, including drinking water, and can be applied from a simple squeeze bottle on to puddles, drains, ditches and other mosquito breeding sites."

These results support other trials which have been done with Aquatain AMF on aedes mosquitoes (dengue fever carriers) and culex mosquitoes (West Nile Virus carriers).

The Wageningen trials were conducted under laboratory conditions, and field evaluations in Africa are planned for the autumn of 2009.

    
    Further details:

    Dr Bart Knols
    Medical Entomologist
    Laboratory of Entomology
    Wageningen University & Research Centre
    The Netherlands

    Tel:    +31(0)317-485418
    Mobile: +31(0)6-20014927
    Fax:    +31(0)317-484821
    Email:  [email protected]

    Graham Strachan
    Director
    Ultimate Agri-Products
    AUSTRALIA
    Tel:    +61(0)3-9701-0544
    Mobile: +61(0)409-250-240
    Fax:    +61(0)3-9701-0655
    Email:  [email protected]

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