Visceral leishmaniasis on the Indian sub-continent: a multi-centre study of the costs of three interventions for the control of the sandfly vector, Phlebotomus argentipes

Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2008 Dec;102(8):729-41. doi: 10.1179/136485908X355274.


The sandflies that transmit the parasites causing human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) can be controlled by several methods, including indoor residual spraying (IRS), the use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) and ecological vector management (EVM). The financial costs of each of these three methods of sandfly control have recently been assessed and compared, in a multi-centre study based on the Indian sub-continent. In each of the four study sites (two in Nepal and one each in India and Bangladesh), 24 neighbourhoods were randomly selected in districts with high incidences of VL. The costs of the three interventions were then prospectively assessed in each study neighbourhood, in the local currency, and then converted to U.S. dollars at the prevailing exchange rate in the country concerned. The costs of IRS, which ranged from U.S.$2.4-11.7 (mean = U.S.$5.9) per household-year, were greater than those of LLIN (U.S.$3.5-5.1/household-year, with a mean of U. S.$4.5) but less than those of EVM (U. S.$5.0- 14.0/household-year, with a mean of U.S.$8.7). These results indicate that LLIN and IRS may be the cheaper options for the control of sandflies on the Indian sub-continent, and that EVM should perhaps only be taken up as a complimentary and voluntary method. Various combinations of these interventions (based on country-specific social and economic factors) may, however, be the best and most cost-effective choice.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bangladesh
  • Bedding and Linens
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • India
  • Insect Control / economics*
  • Insect Control / methods*
  • Insect Repellents / economics
  • Insect Vectors*
  • Insecticides / economics
  • Leishmania donovani*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / prevention & control*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / transmission
  • Nepal
  • Phlebotomus*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Insect Repellents
  • Insecticides