Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Integrated control of malaria and other vector diseases is crucial

13.06.2008
Combating malaria and other so-called vector diseases with chemical controls is increasingly ineffective, besides being hazardous for humans and the environment. These chemical controls must therefore be eliminated.

In order to combat the diseases that insects and ticks transmit, all possible strategies must be united. Only then can we successfully combat these stubborn and escalating disease threats. Prof. Willem Takken made this proposal during his inaugural address as Professor of Medical and Veterinary Entomology at Wageningen University (the Netherlands).

Even now, says Prof. Takken, the many human and animal diseases transmitted by insects and ticks (the so-called vector diseases) claim countless lives in the world, not only in developing countries but also increasingly in the West. Government agencies and public bodies should make combating these diseases a top priority.

Due to the intensification of international commerce and tourism, more tropical and sub-tropical diseases find their way to Europe. In addition, changes in climate mean that these diseases can more often thrive in moderate climate zones. Examples include Bluetongue virus, which recently appeared in the Netherlands, and the increase in Lyme disease, but also West Nile virus, dengue and chikungunya.

... more about:
»DDT »Malaria »Takken »insects »vector

Every year, 4 billion people are exposed to malaria worldwide and 500 to 600 million of them become infected. Initially, in the 1940s and 1950s, the disease was combated very successfully with DDT. However, it gradually became apparent that the insects were becoming resistant to DDT and that this pesticide had very detrimental effects on human health and the environment. This led to DDT being banned in many countries, which in turn meant that the control of the disease virtually stopped between 1969 and 1999.

Prof. Takken is alarmed that some countries have again started using DDT. It has been shown that chemical control measures only work for a limited time and are not sustainable. Therefore an entirely different strategy must be developed which will provide a lasting solution to the malaria problem. He draws attention to the biological crop protection agents used for controlling pests and diseases in greenhouse horticulture. Currently, 95% of all vegetables from greenhouse horticulture in Western Europe are grown without insecticides. Prof. Takken wondered why this approach was not being used with vector diseases. Therefore he set the goal of controlling malaria without the use of chemical pesticides.

According to Prof. Takken, there must be more coherence in combating vector diseases. Important steps have been taken in recent decades towards a new approach for controlling malaria. The staff of Wageningen University have contributed to many of these steps, such as a cloth impregnated with a fungus that affects mosquitoes, or more recently, the development of scent traps to lure malaria mosquitoes away from houses and huts and then catch them.

But there are also other strategies, not only spectacular ones such as the biological control of larvae or the genetic modification of mosquitoes so that they can no longer transmit malaria, but also effective everyday methods, such as improving houses so that they keep mosquitoes outside, or better management of surface water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

Takken argues for what he calls the integrated vector management concept, which takes account of all factors that play a role in the spread of malaria. The risks – which are already obvious – require immediate measures; there is no time to wait for new vaccines or new, acceptable chemical control measures.

Takken cites three scientific and technological developments which could be very important: the major developments in the area of molecular biology, the great progress that has been made with chemical ecology and the new developments in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing. Takken proposes developing a strategy to deal specifically with the insects and ticks that are responsible for many diseases in humans and animals.

Jac Niessen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.wur.nl

Further reports about: DDT Malaria Takken insects vector

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>