Did microbial larviciding contribute to a reduction in malaria cases in eastern Botswana in 2012-2013?
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JournalPublic Health Action
AbstractSetting: Larviciding has potential as a component of integrated vector management for the reduction of malaria transmission in Botswana by complementing long-lasting insecticide nets and indoor residual sprays. Objective: To evaluate the susceptibility of local Anopheles to commonly used larvicides. Design: This field test of the efficacy of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israliensis vs. Anopheles was performed by measuring larval density before treatment and 24 h and 48 h after treatment in seven sites of Bobirwa district, eastern Botswana, in 2012 and 2013. Vector density and malaria cases were compared between Bobirwa and Ngami (northwestern Botswana), with no larviciding in the control arm. Results: Larviciding reduced larval density by 95% in Bobirwa in 2012, with two cases of malaria, while in 2013 larval density reduction was 81%, with 11 cases. Adult mosquito density was zero for both years in Robelela village (Bobirwa), compared to respectively four and 26 adult mosquitoes per room in Shorobe village (Ngami) in 2012 and 2013. There were no cases of malaria in Robelela in either year, but in Shorobe there were 20 and 70 cases, respectively, in 2012 and 2013. Conclusion: Larviciding can reduce the larval density of mosquitoes and reduce malaria transmission in Botswana. Large-scale, targeted implementation of larviciding in districts at high risk for malaria is recommended.