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 Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>