Chlorfenapyr (A Pyrrole Insecticide) Applied Alone or as a Mixture with Alpha-Cypermethrin for Indoor Residual Spraying against Pyrethroid Resistant Anopheles gambiae sl: An Experimental Hut Study in Cove, Benin


Indoor spraying of walls and ceilings with residual insecticide remains a primary method of malaria control. Insecticide resistance in malaria vectors is a growing problem. Novel insecticides for indoor residual spraying (IRS) which can improve the control of pyrethroid resistant malaria vectors are urgently needed. Insecticide mixtures have the potential to improve efficacy or even to manage resistance in some situations but this possibility remains underexplored experimentally. Chlorfenapyr is a novel pyrrole insecticide which has shown potential to improve the control of mosquitoes which are resistant to current WHO-approved insecticides.


The efficacy of IRS with chlorfenapyr applied alone or as a mixture with alpha-cypermeththrin (a pyrethroid) was evaluated in experimental huts in Cove, Southern Benin against wild free flying pyrethroid resistant Anopheles gambiae sl. Comparison was made with IRS with alpha-cypermethrin alone. Fortnightly 30-minute in situ cone bioassays were performed to assess the residual efficacy of the insecticides on the treated hut walls.


Survival rates of wild An gambiae from the Cove hut site in WHO resistance bioassays performed during the trial were >90% with permethrin and deltamethrin treated papers. Mortality of free-flying mosquitoes entering the experimental huts was 4% in the control hut. Mortality with alpha-cypermethrin IRS did not differ from the control (5%, P>0.656). The highest mortality was achieved with chlorfenapyr alone (63%). The alpha-cypermethrin + chlorfenapyr mixture killed fewer mosquitoes than chlorfenapyr alone (43% vs. 63%, P<0.001). While the cone bioassays showed a more rapid decline in residual mortality with chlorfenapyr IRS to <30% after only 2 weeks, fortnightly mortality rates of wild free-flying An gambiae entering the chlorfenapyr IRS huts were consistently high (50–70%) and prolonged, lasting over 4 months.


IRS with chlorfenapyr shows potential to significantly improve the control of malaria transmission in pyrethroid resistant areas compared to pyrethroid IRS or the mixture. Thirty minute in situ cone bioassays are not predictive of the performance of chlorfenapyr IRS under field conditions.