Assessing the effects of piperonyl butoxide (PBO) exposure on malaria vector fitness


  • Rhosheen Mthanwanji

    International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research

Project summary

Malaria occurrence has decreased remarkably across sub-Saharan Africa. This is in large part due to the mass distribution of bed nets which contain insecticides known as pyrethroids. Mosquitoes that come in contact with the net are killed by the insecticide, reducing the population of mosquitoes that can transmit malaria. However, mosquitoes, have acquired resistance to pyrethroids. This threatens the future effectiveness of bed nets, therefore alternative solutions and compounds are urgently needed.

One solution is a long-lasting insecticidal treated net (LLIN) containing both a pyrethroid and a compound known as piperonyl butoxide (PBO). PBO is a synergist which inhibits enzymes, known as P450s, inside the mosquitoes that cause resistance and contribute to lowering mosquito populations. We will look at the impact on mosquito longevity and reproduction of exposing a local vector population in southern Malawi to PBO-LLINs.

This grant was awarded under the scheme's previous name of Master's Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.