Owing to the development and spread of pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles gambiae in Africa there is an urgent need to develop alternative insecticides to supplement the pyrethroids. Chlorfenapyr is a pyrrole insecticide first commercialized for the control of agricultural pests and termites. Performance against An. gambiae bearing kdr (pyrethroid and DDT resistance) or Ace-1R insensitive acetylcholinesterase (organophosphate and carbamate resistance) mechanisms was studied using a variety of adult bioassay tests including a simulated-experimental hut system (tunnel tests) that allows uninhibited mosquito behaviour/insecticide interactions. Strains resistant to pyrethroids and organophosphates showed no cross resistance to chlorfenapyr. In cone bioassays on treated netting the mortality of adult mosquitoes showed an unexpected curvilinear response, with highest mortality occurring at intermediate dosages. Adults expressed irritability to chlorfenapyr at higher dosages, which might explain the dosage–mortality trend. Toxic activity of chlorfenapyr was slow compared to conventional neurotoxic insecticides and additional mortality occurred between 24 h and 72 h. In tunnel tests, the dosage–mortality trend showed a more typical sigmoid response and most mortality occurred during the first 24 h. Mosquito penetration through the holed, treated netting showed only limited inhibition and blood-feeding was not inhibited. Mortality rates in the kdr strain exposed to chlorfenapyr treated netting in tunnel tests were much higher than with permethrin treated netting over the same 100–500 mg/m2 dosage range. Chlorfenapyr has potential for malaria control in treated-net or residual spraying applications in areas where mosquitoes are pyrethroid resistant. For treated-net applications chlorfenapyr might be combined with pyrethroid as a mixture to provide personal protection as well as to give control of resistant mosquitoes.
Acta Tropica (2007) 102 (1) 69-78 [doi:10.1016/j.actatropica.2007.03.003]