Norway
Sustainability

Interceptor® G2 – breakthrough to beat insecticide resistance

July 27, 2017

Around the world, every two minutes a child dies from malaria and there are more than 200 million new cases every year. Malaria is also a major cause of global poverty and its burden is greatest among the most vulnerable.

Mosquitoes are the most dangerous animal on earth - transmitting diseases such as malaria, dengue, Zika and yellow fever and causing more deaths than any other creature.

Long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets (LN) and indoor residual sprays are the cornerstones of malaria prevention, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. But 60 countries have already reported resistance to at least one class of insecticide used in them. Part of the problem is that there were previously only four WHO-recommended insecticide classes for adult mosquito control: Only one of them, the pyrethroid class, was recommended for LNs. Continual use of the same insecticides enabled the highly-adaptable mosquito to develop significant levels of resistance.

Medical entomologist Professor Hilary Ranson from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has studied the problem for many years. “We’ve got to take insecticide resistance very seriously,” she said. “In some countries, the local mosquito population has increased its level of resistance 1,000-fold. It has been years since a new class of public health insecticide has appeared on the market. Alternatives are urgently needed.”

First WHO recommendation for new class of insecticide since the 1980s

Working with the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in a collaboration lasting over a decade, BASF’s scientists successfully repurposed chlorfenapyr to be effective on mosquito nets and meet stringent WHO performance thresholds for public health. Chlorfenapyr is a completely new insecticide class for combating mosquitoes in public health.

BASF recently received an interim recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) for Interceptor® G2, a new long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito net (LN) based on chlorfenapy. This is the first WHO recommendation for a product based on a new insecticide class in more than 30 years.

Interceptor® G2 and why it is so special


Dave Malone, IVCC Technical Manager, said “The collaboration with BASF gave us access to an insecticide with a rare combination of attributes: New to public health, effective against resistant mosquitoes, and able to coat polyester netting with a long-lasting formulation.”
 

Interceptor® G2 from BASF is the first WHO-recommended mosquito net based on a new class of chemistry to beat insecticide-resistant mosquitoes. Its distinctive black and white stripes distinguish it from currently used products.

More tools are needed to prevent resistance

A second chlorfenapyr product, an indoor residual spray named Sylando® 240SC, is also in the final phases of WHO evaluation. Independent trials in Benin, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Ivory Coast have proven the efficacy of Interceptor G2 and Sylando 240SC against local insecticide-resistant mosquitoes.

Following the WHO recommendation, BASF will start preparations to launch Interceptor G2 for malaria prevention. Depending on local registration processes, the new mosquito net is expected to be available to health ministries and aid organizations starting towards the end of this year. “New resistance management products are desperately needed to prevent mosquito-borne diseases and save lives,” said Egon Weinmueller, Head of BASF’s public health business. “This development breakthrough strengthens my personal belief that we really can be the generation to end malaria for good.”

About chlorfenapyr

Chlorfenapyr was derived by isolating a toxin from the Streptomyces fumanus actinomycete bacterium. It is new to the public health market, but has been used in agriculture and urban pest control, including in homes and food handling areas, worldwide since 1995. Chlorfenapyr belongs to the pyrrole class of chemistry and has an entirely different mode of action from current WHO-recommended insecticides forpublic health. It works by disrupting the insect’s ability to produce energy. This makes it unlikely to show cross-resistance in mosquitoes that are resistant to currently registered public health insecticides.