Permethrin-impregnated bed nets for the prevention of malaria in schoolchildren on the Thai-Burmese border

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1994 Mar-Apr;88(2):155-9. doi: 10.1016/0035-9203(94)90273-9.


A double-blind controlled trial was undertaken from August 1990 to February 1991 among Karen children on the Thai-Burmese border to evaluate the effects on malaria incidence and prevalence of permethrin-treated bed nets. Three hundred and fifty schoolchildren, aged 4 to 15 years, were allocated at random to receive either a permethrin-impregnated net or a non-treated net. The incidence of malaria infections, confirmed by a blood film, was assessed during 6 months. Three surveys were conducted, on admission and 3 and 6 months later, to measure the prevalence of infections and spleen rates. Compliance was assessed by monthly home visiting. The use of permethrin-treated bed nets reduced the number of parasitaemic Plasmodium falciparum infections by 38% and the number of symptomatic episodes by 42%. The number of P. vivax malaria attacks was similar in each group. The prevalence of positive blood films in the 2 groups did not change significantly during the study. A reduction in spleen rate by 50% in both groups at the end of the study period could not be related to the overall use of nets. Compliance was high and no side-effect was reported. The long-term effects on morbidity and mortality need to be assessed after distribution of permethrin treated bed nets at the village level.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insecticides* / adverse effects
  • Malaria, Falciparum / epidemiology
  • Malaria, Falciparum / prevention & control*
  • Malaria, Vivax / epidemiology
  • Malaria, Vivax / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mosquito Control / methods*
  • Myanmar / epidemiology
  • Patient Compliance
  • Permethrin
  • Prevalence
  • Pyrethrins* / adverse effects
  • Thailand / epidemiology


  • Insecticides
  • Pyrethrins
  • Permethrin