A review on test methods for insecticidal fabrics and the need for standardisation

Abstract

Insecticidal fabrics are effective personal protective measures against disease vectors and unlike bed nets, these fabrics can provide protection from day-biting mosquitoes and in outdoor environments. The rapid geographical expansion of day-biting mosquitoes and their role in disease transmission necessitate technological interventions, which can be effectively used during the daytime. There is a renewed interest in insecticidal fabrics mainly due to the recent outbreaks and geographical spread of dengue and chikungunya and with the emerging threat of Zika virus infection. Insecticidal fabrics are useful for protection from night-biting mosquitoes and also in situations were sleeping under a bed net is not possible. They are also effective against other biting arthropods like ticks, mites, tsetse flies, sand flies and body lice. Although long-lasting insecticidal fabrics factory-treated with permethrin are now commercially available for military and civilian use, there are no international guidelines for testing their efficacy. The different methods employed so far for testing bioefficacy, washing and quantification of permethrin are compiled in this review. The future prospects and challenges ahead for long-lasting insecticidal fabrics are discussed in the context of the increased threat from day-biting mosquitoes and the diseases transmitted by them. The review focuses on the need for standardisation of the test methods for ensuring adequate bioefficacy and safety to the user. The differences between long-lasting insecticidal nets and long-lasting insecticidal fabrics are elaborated, and the need for a separate registration and licencing procedure for long-lasting insecticidal fabrics is highlighted. A test procedure for insecticidal fabrics is described, which could be used until internationally accepted guidelines are available.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the Director, Defence Research and Development Establishment, Gwalior for his guidance and support during the study.

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Correspondence to Reji Gopalakrishnan.

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Section Editor: Helge Kampen

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Gopalakrishnan, R., Sukumaran, D., Thakare, V.B. et al. A review on test methods for insecticidal fabrics and the need for standardisation. Parasitol Res 117, 3067–3080 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-018-6061-x

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Keywords

  • Insecticidal fabrics
  • Permethrin
  • Disease vector
  • Personal protection
  • Test methods