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January 29, 2016
Revisiting vector control

Major gains have been made in reducing malaria transmission in many parts of the world, principally by scaling-up coverage with long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual spraying.

Historically, choice of vector control intervention has been largely guided by a parameter sensitivity analysis of George Macdonald's theory of vectorial capacity that suggested prioritizing methods that kill adult mosquitoes.

While this advice has been highly successful for transmission suppression, there is a need to revisit these arguments as policymakers in certain areas consider which combinations of interventions are required to eliminate malaria.

Brady et al have shown in their paper, Vectorial capacity and vector control: reconsidering sensitivity to parameters for malaria elimination published in Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, that reaching specific policy goals, such as elimination, in defined contexts requires increasingly non-generic advice from modelling.

The results emphasize the importance of measuring baseline epidemiology, intervention coverage, vector ecology and program operational constraints in predicting expected outcomes with different combinations of interventions.