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Next-generation bed net saves 25,000 lives in pilot study

Next-generation bed net saves 25,000 lives in pilot study


THis fight against malaria is like testing human intelligence against mosquitoes. And for now, our little winged enemy is winning. But new results shared this week show significant improvements in one of the most important tools we have to prevent life-threatening diseases: bed nets.

Results shared this week by the New Net Project, an initiative funded by UniAid and the Global Fund, highlight a pair of second-generation bed nets tested in endemic areas from 2019 to 2022.Burkina Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast and several other countries pilot study The new nets were found to be 20% to 50% more effective at reducing mosquito entry than traditional ones, reducing the risk of infection by up to 55%. Overall, the New Net Project estimates that the nets have prevented up to 13 million additional malaria infections and saved nearly 25,000 lives.

The results come at a time when malaria cases are on the rise. The World Health Organization estimates that there will be approximately 250 million infections in 2022. More than 600,000 deaths, 80% of deaths are children under 5 years old. This is despite researchers gaining a better understanding of mosquito behavior (including what they contain) scent attracts them) The list of cutting-edge tools continues to grow. two vaccines, treatments, Gene-edited germ-free mosquitoesand smell malaria dog.

The internet also has its drawbacks.Durability: it is only 3 years (or 20 washes), generates waste, and in some cases being exploited, poses serious environmental risks.but they save livesAnd for 20 years, nets treated with pyrethroid insecticides have been the go-to for preventing mosquito bites. Mosquitoes have developed some degree of resistance to pyrethroid insecticides, but limit success Implementation of a large-scale bed net distribution program.

Introducing the second-generation nets tested in recent pilot programs: Interceptor G2, manufactured by chemical company BASF, and Royal Guard, developed by Disease Control Technologies (DCT). Since we have not directly compared the two nets, there is no conclusive data on which is more effective, but Interceptor G2 nets, which are coated with chlorfenapyr and standard pyrethroid insecticides, have consistently outperformed older generation It performed better than the internet. Meanwhile, DCT nets that use a combination of pyriproxyfen and pyrethroids have not always yielded clear results, said Dr. N., a senior public health entomologist in the Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Program at the global charity PATH. said one Joe Wagman. Health equity.

Mr Wagman, who contributed research to the New Nets project but has no connection to the Royal Guard or DCT, added that countries are also taking into account the cost of using Nets in their malaria control programs. .according to UNICEF supplies departmentthe wholesale price for the Interceptor G2 Net is $2.94 each, but the price for the Royal Guard was not available, and Disease Control Technologies did not provide pricing information to STAT.

Although the new nets are more expensive than previous versions, the additional costs appear to be offset by public health savings. According to the New Nets Project, the additional cost per case of malaria prevention ranged from $0.66 to $3.56, but the total savings to the health system was nearly $30 million.

“Insecticide resistance is one of the major challenges in fighting malaria around the world,” said Connor McMeniman, assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. “Interestingly, over the past year, dual-component insecticide-treated bed nets have been highly recommended in sub-Saharan Africa to overcome resistance to the most common insecticides in malaria-carrying mosquitoes.”

But experts acknowledge that the new bed nets are a limited solution, as they predict that eventually mosquitoes will become resistant to second-generation bed nets. Wagman said research into other means of vector control continues to be needed, as well as vaccinating more of the population against the disease.

“I'm really happy that better bed nets are now on the market. I think this is a huge step forward and a positive development. But…at the end of the day, a bed net is still a bed net, and it's more effective.” Even with standard mosquito nets, there are still limits,” he said. “We will reach the limits of what we can achieve with bed nets, the limits of their effectiveness in killing mosquitoes.”




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