The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-358) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors received financial support from The Mentor Initiative and Durable Activated Residual Textiles S.A. (DART S.A.) to conduct the study but have no competing or commercial interests with either company. Neither of these commercial parties played any role in data analysis, interpretation of results, decision to publish or preparation of the final manuscript.
The field trials were initiated by DART S.A. and The Mentor Initiative and conducted by AM, ANM, JBSO, SK, DAB, MBC, MLL, AST, BD, MK, AG, SFT, CEGM and HL. Data was consolidated, interpreted and analysed retrospectively and independently by LAM, IK and MR. LAM, IK and MR wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is a primary method of malaria vector control, but its potential impact is constrained by several inherent limitations: spraying must be repeated when insecticide residues decay, householders can tire of the annual imposition and campaign costs are recurrent. Durable lining (DL) can be considered an advanced form of long-lasting IRS where insecticide is gradually released from an aesthetically attractive wall lining material to provide vector control for several years. A multicentre trial was carried out in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Mali, South Africa and Vietnam to assess the feasibility, durability, bioefficacy and household acceptability of DL, compared to conventional IRS or insecticide-treated curtains (LLITCs), in a variety of operational settings.
This study was conducted in 220 households in traditional rural villages over 12-15 months. In all sites, rolls of DL were cut to fit house dimensions and fixed to interior wall surfaces (usually with nails and caps) by trained teams. Acceptability was assessed using a standardized questionnaire covering such topics as installation, exposure reactions, entomology, indoor environment, aesthetics and durability. Bioefficacy of interventions was evaluated using WHO cone bioassay tests at regular intervals throughout the year.
The deltamethrin DL demonstrated little to no decline in bioefficacy over 12-15 months, supported by minimal loss of insecticide content. By contrast, IRS displayed a significant decrease in bioactivity by 6 months and full loss after 12 months. The majority of participants in DL households perceived reductions in mosquito density (93%) and biting (82%), but no changes in indoor temperature (83%). Among those households that wanted to retain the DL, 73% cited protective reasons, 20% expressed a desire to keep theirs for decoration and 7% valued both qualities equally. In Equatorial Guinea, when offered a choice of vector control product at the end of the trial (DL, IRS or LLITCs), DL consistently emerged as the most popular intervention regardless of the earlier household allocation.
Just as long-lasting insecticidal nets overcame several of the technical and logistical constraints associated with conventionally treated nets and then went to scale, this study demonstrates the potential of DL to sustain user compliance and overcome the operational challenges associated with IRS.
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