Larviciding to prevent malaria transmission

14 Aug 2019

What was the aim of this review?

Larviciding is the regular application of microbial or chemical insecticides to water bodies or water containers. The aim of larviciding is to reduce the adult population of mosquitoes by killing the aquatic immature forms, so that fewer will develop into adults. This should reduce the number of mosquitoes that bite and infect humans with malaria.

Key messages

All four studies included in this review distributed larvicides manually. Hand larviciding of small mosquito habitats may be effective in preventing malaria. Only one study was conducted in an area where larval habitats spanned a large area and this study found no effect of larviciding.

What was studied in the review?

We searched for trials that evaluated the impact of larviciding, using a microbial agent or chemical insecticide on malaria transmission. We considered effects on both human health outcomes and on mosquito populations.

What were the main results of the review?

Evidence from three studies shows that larviciding may decrease at least one malaria disease outcome in some studies, and this was in areas where the mosquito aquatic habitats were less than 1 km2 (low‐certainty evidence). We do not know if larviciding in large water bodies shows an impact on malaria based on results from one study in The Gambia (very low‐certainty evidence).

How up to date is the review?

We searched for relevant trials up to 6 June 2019.