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Spatial repellents: from discovery and development to evidence-based validation

Nicole L Achee1*, Michael J Bangs2, Robert Farlow3, Gerry F Killeen4, Steve Lindsay5, James G Logan5, Sarah J Moore5, Mark Rowland5, Kevin Sweeney6, Steve J Torr7, Laurence J Zwiebel8 and John P Grieco1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Preventive Medicine & Biometrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA

2 Public Health & Malaria Control, Jl. Kertajasa, Kuala Kencana, Papua 99920, Indonesia

3 R Farlow Consulting LLC, 156 Cardinal Cove Burkeville, TX 75932, USA

4 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Vector Group, Pembroke Place, Liverpool, L3 5QA, UK

5 Department of Disease Control, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK

6 Office of Pesticide Programs, Registration Division, U.S. EPA, Washington, DC, USA

7 Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent, ME4 4TB, UK

8 Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 37232, USA

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Malaria Journal 2012, 11:164  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-164

Published: 14 May 2012


International public health workers are challenged by a burden of arthropod-borne disease that remains elevated despite best efforts in control programmes. With this challenge comes the opportunity to develop novel vector control paradigms to guide product development and programme implementation. The role of vector behaviour modification in disease control was first highlighted several decades ago but has received limited attention within the public health community. This paper presents current evidence highlighting the value of sub-lethal agents, specifically spatial repellents, and their use in global health, and identifies the primary challenges towards establishing a clearly defined and recommended role for spatial repellent products in disease control.

Public health; Spatial repellents; Vector control; Vector behaviour modification