<b>What is larval source management and how might it work? </b>
Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted from person to person by
mosquitoes, and the main interventions insecticide treated bed-nets and
indoor residual spraying reduce malaria infection by targeting adult
mosquitoes. Larval source management (LSM) also aims to reduce malaria
but instead targets immature mosquitoes, which are found in standing
water, before they develop into flying adults. This is done by
permanently removing standing water, for example by draining or filling
land; making temporary changes to mosquito habitats to disrupt breeding,
for example by clearing drains to make the water flow; or by adding
chemicals, biological larvicides, or natural predators to standing water
to kill larvae.
What does the research show?
We examined all the published and unpublished research up to 24 October
2012, and included 13 studies in this review.
Where larval habitats are not too extensive and a sufficient proportion
of these habitats can be targeted, LSM probably reduces the number of
people that will develop malaria (moderate quality evidence), and
probably reduces the proportion of the population infected with the
malaria parasite at any one time (moderate quality evidence).
LSM was shown to be effective in Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines,
Greece, Kenya, and Tanzania, where interventions included adding
larvicide to abandoned mine pits, streams, irrigation ditches and rice
paddies where mosquitos breed, and building dams, flushing streams, and
removing water containers from around people’s homes.
In one study from The Gambia where mosquitos were breeding in large
swamps and rice paddies, spraying swamps with larvicide using ground
teams did not show any benefit.
Tusting, L.S.; Thwing, J.; Sinclair, D.; Fillinger, U.; Gimnig, J.; Bonner, K.E.; Bottomley, C.; Lindsay, S.W. Mosquito larval source management for controlling malaria. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2013) Issue 8, Art. No.: CD008923. [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008923.pub2]
Mosquito larval source management for controlling malaria