Researchers from Bayer CropScience are the first to have successfully incorporated deltamethrin, its WHO-recommended active ingredient, into polypropylene fiber. The result is a new textile fiber which can be used to manufacture mosquito nets that are softer, stronger and remain effective for longer. These long-lasting insecticidal nets will contribute to vector control and thus help to stem the spread of tropical diseases such as malaria. The new product, which will be sold under the brand name LifeNet, is expected to be launched on the market within the next few years.
According to World Health Organization, around 3.3 billion people, representing 50% of the world’s population, are living in malaria endemic areas. As a result of climate change, the incidence of vector-borne tropical diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and leishmaniasis are expected to rise. An increase in average temperatures of 1-2 degrees Celsius could lead to an additional 40-60 million people worldwide being exposed to the risk of malaria infection (transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito), because rising temperatures favor the survival of mosquitoes and parasite development for subsequent transmission. Rising temperatures also favor the migration of tropical vectors to regions to which they were previously not native. Sustainable solutions from Bayer CropScience for effective vector control in developing countries and emerging economies include new long-lasting formulations for indoor residual spraying, functional insecticide treated textiles and rotational use of alternative insecticides for resistance management programs.