A recent article from Paton et al. “Exposing Anopheles mosquitoes to antimalarials blocks transmission of Plasmodium parasites” has deservedly drawn considerable interest. In this landmark study, the authors showed that adding atovaquone to a glass substrate on which blood-fed Anopheles mosquitoes rested led to killing of Plasmodium falciparum parasites resident in the midgut blood meal. The atovaquone concentrations required for effective killing were below those of permethrin, a potent neurotoxic insecticide used in long-lasting insecticide-treated bed-nets (LLINs). Modeling studies predicted that adding atovaquone to LLINs would substantially increase bed-net effectiveness across a broad range of transmission settings by reducing the prevalence of malarial infections. LLINs have been estimated to account for 68% of the reduction in numbers of malaria cases since 2,000, but their effectiveness is challenged by the rise of resistance to pyrethroid insecticides. A vital need for new malaria-prevention strategies is underscored by evidence that progress against malaria has plateaued in the past few years, with an estimated 435,000 deaths in 2017.
To view the full article, please visit the NCBI website.