Beyond Insecticides: New Thinking on an Ancient Problem

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Mar;11(3):181-93. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2968.


Vector-borne disease is one of the greatest contributors to human mortality and morbidity throughout the tropics. Mosquito-transmitted diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever and filariasis are the main contributors to this burden. Although insecticides have historically been used to try to control vector populations, over the past 15 years, substantial progress has been made in developing alternative vector control strategies ranging from biocontrol methods through to genetic modification of wild insect populations. Here, we review recent advances concerning these strategies and consider the potential impediments to their deployment, including the challenges of obtaining regulatory approval and community acceptance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Insect Control / methods*
  • Insect Vectors*
  • Tropical Climate