Structurally Novel Insecticides for the Malaria Mosquito:
ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY
With about 198 million cases and 584,000 deaths just in 2013, malaria has been and continues to be a prominent health concern all over the world. Only one class of approved insecticides, pyrethroids, is routinely used on insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), which have the potential to reduce malaria transmission to humans by 50%. However, pyrethroid resistance has dramatically increased and now exceeds 1,000-fold. Researchers at Virginia Tech have successfully identified a set of fluorinated ketone derivatives that effectively kill susceptible (G3 strain) Anopheles gambiae (An. gambiae) vectors, which are highly resistant to acetylcholinesterase and pyrethroid insecticides.
These fluorinated ketone derivatives, consisting of oximes, oxime ethers, and hydrazides of fluorinated methyl ketones, would be useful as an indoor residual spray (IRS) and as a treatment for ITNs in malaria-endemic areas. This method neither inhibits An. gambiae AchE nor mitochondrial respiration. Therefore, these compounds are suggested to undergo a non-cholinergic mechanism of toxicity, which eliminates the concerns found with acetylcholinesterase and pyrethroid insecticides.