Efficacy of Permethrin Treated Bed Nets Against Leishmania major Infected Sand Flies.
Rowland T., Davidson SA., Kobylinski K., Menses C., Rowton E.
Insecticide treated nets (ITNs) are a potential tool to help control sand flies and prevent Leishmaniasis. However, little is currently known about the response of Leishmania infected sand flies to ITNs. In this study, Phlebotomus duboscqi sand flies were infected with the parasite Leishmania major. Infected and noninfected sand flies were then evaluated against permethrin treated and untreated bed nets in a laboratory assay that required sand flies to pass through suspended netting material to feed on a mouse serving as an attractive host. The number of sand flies passing through the nets and blood feeding was recorded. There was not a significant difference in the ability of infected or noninfected sand flies to move through treated or untreated nets. Fewer sand flies entered the permethrin treated nets compared to the untreated nets, indicating that permethrin creates an effective barrier. The results show that in addition to reducing the nuisance bites of noninfected sand flies, ITNs also protect against Leishmania infected sand flies and therefore can play in key role in reducing the rates of Leishmaniasis. This study is important to the Department of Defense as it continues to develop and field new bed nets to protect service members.