• alphacypermethrin;
  • pyrethroid;
  • indoor residual spraying;
  • malaria;
  • vector control;
  • mosquito;
  • Pakistan

Summary We conducted a community-randomized controlled trial in Pakistan to determine the efficacy of indoor residual spraying with alphacypermethrin ('Fendona', Cyanamid, NJ, USA), applied at 25 mg/m2, to prevent falciparum and vivax malaria. Wettable powder (WP) and suspension concentrate (SC) formulations were tested against an unsprayed control in an irrigated rice-growing area of Sheikhupura district, Punjab province. The study area of 180 km2 was divided into nine sectors, which were assigned at random to control, WP, or SC treatments in replicates of 3. Sentinel villages were selected from each sector for entomological and disease monitoring. Malaria was monitored by fortnightly active case detection (ACD) and by cross- sectional parasite surveys on schoolchildren. Mosquito populations were monitored by space spraying of rooms and by cattle-landing catches. The spray campaign took place in June 1997 and covered 96% of compounds. During the 7 months after spraying, the incidence of falciparum malaria was 95% lower and that of vivax malaria 80% lower in WP-sprayed than unsprayed sectors. Similar results were obtained for sectors sprayed with the SC formulation. Cross-sectional surveys gave estimates of efficacy comparable to those obtained by ACD. Anopheles culicifacies was 80% less abundant and A.stephensi, the predominant anopheline, was up to 68% less abundant in sprayed areas over the 7-month period. Reductions in anopheline parous rates indicated that the single-spray treatment was effective for the entire transmission season. Sprayed surfaces lacked odour, which contributed to the popularity of the campaign. Alphacypermethrin is a promising insecticide for the control of malaria in Pakistan and South Asia generally.