Since Aedes mosquitoes, which transmit the Zika virus, normally bite during the daytime, insecticide-treated bed-nets are not a useful prevention strategy. Permethrin-treated clothing has been recommended as a practical option yet its protection is not as extensive as might be hoped and novel technologies must be developed for laundering-resistant insecticides and repellents.
“As a medical entomologist I am excited to be working on this programme because this current Zika epidemic appeared very quickly and taken us by surprise. We need to think of new techniques to outsmart the Aedes mosquito.”
Dr. James Logan, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
To protect pregnant women against Aedes mosquito bites, novel, wash-in detergent formulations and long-lasting plastic technologies containing repellents for the treatment of clothing and other wearable repellent technologies are being developed using new microencapsulation techniques.
- Perform a focus group study, with several cohorts, including pregnant women, non-pregnant women, men in Cali, Colombia, on proposed wearable repellent technologies to determine which would be most likely to be accepted,
- Investigate and develop novel detergents containing repellents that can be used during laundry to allow active repellents to be applied to everyday clothing during each wash for protection against Aedes mosquitoes,
- Investigate new wash-resistant technologies, including novel silica-shell, polymer fibres and microencapsulated formulations to determine whether repellent active ingredients can be retained in fabrics for multiple washes,
- Develop plastic wearable repellent technologies including flip-flops, wrist bands, necklaces using a plastic silica technology for protection against Aedes mosquitoes,
- Perform a modelling study to determine what level of protection (i.e. reduction in biting rate) is required to reduce Zika transmission in pregnant women.
Group leader: Dr. James Logan, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine