Scientists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have stated that mosquito nets with insecticides may continue to be effective against malaria even though mosquitoes are becoming increasingly resistant to the treatment.
"Our findings could help to explain why, so far, insecticide-treated nets seem to remain partly effective despite increasing resistance,” Dr. Jo Lines, study author and the school's reader of Malaria Control and Vector Biology, said.
The growing resistance of mosquitoes against common malaria treatments and drugs has been a public health concern for some time. Some researchers maintain that the nets may still be useful against the disease, while others state there has been growing resistance to the pyrethroid in the insecticides.
A recent study in Uganda showed that even though mosquitoes are developing resistance to the insecticides, the parasites within the mosquitoes are still damaged by the chemicals. One of the chemicals in the insecticide, deltamethrin, inhibits the malaria parasite from growing within the mosquitoes.
"This is a significant result,” Dr. Tarekegn Abeku, study co-author and Malaria Consortium's senior technical specialist, said. “It suggests that the use of insecticide-treated nets might continue to reduce malaria even in areas where the mosquitoes have become resistant. If so, that would give us more time to develop alternatives."