Larval source management
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While long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying remain the backbone of malaria vector control, larval source management (LSM), which targets mosquito larvae as they mature in aquatic habitats, has gained renewed interest as an additional intervention for the malaria toolbox. There are four types of LSM: habitat modification, habitat manipulation, larviciding, and biological control. Due to a lack of clear evidence of impact on malaria transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) only recommends LSM as a supplementary vector control measure to be used under limited conditions (few, fixed and findable breeding sites) [ref].
As reported at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Roll Back Malaria Vector Control Working Group (RBM VCWG) [ref], Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Eswatini and Ghana are some of the countries implementing the strategy. Nigeria is also developing a framework for LSM implementation, Sudan will deliver LSM in urban areas as part of its stratification packages and Malawi is also using LSM in some areas of the country.
All the current LSM efforts in the field, including larviciding studies, are producing valuable data that can help quantify the effectiveness of the strategy, inform guidelines, provide valuable lessons learnt, and inform funders to guide their investment decisions. At the same time, by analysing the evidence emerging from current LSM programs, the best use scenarios that maximise the impact of the intervention can be identified.
This deep dive compiles the landscape of recent and ongoing research in larviciding and provides an overview of the projects' characteristics.