A groundbreaking study conducted by researchers at The University of Texas at El Paso has uncovered a surprising solution to combat the rising resistance of mosquitoes to insecticides. The study revealed that the addition of liquid soap to certain pesticides can significantly enhance their effectiveness against malaria-carrying mosquitoes. This discovery offers a promising approach in the battle against malaria, potentially impacting millions affected by this deadly disease.
Traditionally, mosquitoes have developed strong resistance to most insecticides over the past two decades, making it crucial to develop alternative compounds with new modes of action. The research team, led by Colince Kamdem, Ph.D., and Caroline Fouet, Ph.D., has explored the use of soap as a boosting substance for neonicotinoid insecticides. Neonicotinoids have shown potential as an alternative to combat mosquito populations resistant to existing insecticides. However, their efficacy against certain mosquito species has been limited. By adding small quantities of liquid soap, the team found that the insecticides’ potency increased by more than ten-fold.
The study focused on three low-cost, linseed-oil-based soaps prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa: Maître Savon de Marseille, Carolin Savon Noir, and La Perdrix Savon. When these soaps were added to the neonicotinoid insecticides acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, mosquito mortality increased from 30 percent to 100 percent compared to when the insecticides were used alone.
The research team recognizes the need for further testing to determine the optimal soap-to-insecticide ratio for maximum efficacy. Their ultimate goal is to develop a soap-insecticide formulation suitable for indoor use in malaria-prevalent regions. Such a formulation would not only combat mosquito populations but also ensure the safety of the users.
Overall, this study brings a fresh perspective to malaria control by introducing the concept of using soap as a potent enhancer for insecticides. By leveraging this discovery, researchers and health organizations can potentially revolutionize the fight against malaria, reducing the burden of this devastating disease on affected communities worldwide.
Q: How does adding liquid soap enhance the effectiveness of pesticides against mosquitoes?
A: The addition of liquid soap to certain pesticides boosts their potency by more than ten-fold, increasing mosquito mortality rates significantly.
Q: Why is it important to find alternative compounds to combat mosquito resistance?
A: Mosquitoes have become strongly resistant to most insecticides over the past two decades, necessitating the development of alternative compounds with new modes of action.
Q: What impact does malaria have globally?
A: Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In 2020, there were an estimated 241 million cases of malaria worldwide, resulting in 627,000 deaths.
Q: What is the goal of the research team?
A: The research team aims to develop a soap-insecticide formulation for indoor use in malaria-prevalent regions, potentially impacting millions affected by this deadly disease.
Q: How can this discovery revolutionize the fight against malaria?
A: By utilizing soap as an enhancer for insecticides, researchers and health organizations can potentially revolutionize malaria control, reducing the burden of the disease on affected communities worldwide.