Thursday, 17 May 2012

ICMR to evolve common protocol to deal with mosquitoes turning resistant to insecticides

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: With mosquitoes carrying dangerous diseases
increasingly becoming resistant to insecticides, the Indian Council of
Medical Research (ICMR) has decided to evolve a common protocol to
deal with the menace. It has come out with new draft guidelines for
uniform evaluation of insecticides and bio-larvicides for use in
vector-control programme throughout the country.

The integrated vector management now followed in the country has led
to resistance in several species of mosquitoes that transmit diseases
ranging from malaria to filaria and dengue to chikungunya. This has
led authorities to try new chemicals and in the absence of common
protocol, there is a danger of mosquitoes developing resistance to
newer chemicals, which will affect the environment and human health

According to the draft guidelines, among the available vector control
options, chemical control is decisively superior over environmental
and biological control that have limited applicability especially in
mitigating sporadic unpredictable outbreaks of vector-borne diseases.
Deployment of chemical control embraces the whole gamut of strategies
that include indoor residual sprays, larvicides, insect growth
regulators; insecticide treated nets/long-lasting insecticide nets and
an ever-lengthening list of household insecticide formulations for
personal protection measures.

“In India, vector control measures recommended and practiced by the
National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme largely rely on
site-specific chemical control, using insecticides belonging to
different groups. A major impediment to this strategy has been the
development of resistance by vector species to the insecticides, which
necessitates frequent replacement of the existing insecticides in the
control programme with new insecticides showing adequate human and
environmental safety,” ICMR’s new guidelines point out.

The draft guidelines make it mandatory for industries to conduct both
laboratory and field trials to evaluate the insecticide compounds for
their bio-efficacy and effectiveness on target and non-target
organisms. The new chemical products have to be evaluated in
multi-centric mode at different sites with variable ecology to
ascertain their adaptation for control in diverse ecological
situations in the country.

Further, the draft guidelines also make it mandatory that only the
insecticides that are registered with the Central Insecticide Board
should be used in the control programme.

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