Global Trends in the Use of Insecticides to Control Vector-Borne Diseases

H. van den Berg, M. Zaim, R.S. Yadav, A. Soares, B. Ameneshewa, A. Mnzava, J. Hii, A.P. Dash, M. Ejov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Data on insecticide use for vector control are essential for guiding pesticide management systems on judicious and appropriate use, resistance management, and reduction of risks to human health and the environment. Objective: We studied the global use and trends of insecticide use for control of vector-borne diseases for the period 2000 through 2009. Methods: A survey was distributed to countries with vector control programs to request national data on vector control insecticide use, excluding the use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LNs). Data were received from 125 countries, representing 97% of the human populations of 143 targeted countries. Results: The main disease targeted with insecticides was malaria, followed by dengue, leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease. The use of vector control insecticides was dominated by organochlorines [i.e., DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane)] in terms of quantity applied (71% of total) and by pyrethroids in terms of the surface or area covered (81% of total). Global use of DDT for vector control, most of which was in India alone, was fairly constant during 2000 through 2009. In Africa, pyrethroid use increased in countries that also achieved high coverage for LNs, and DDT increased sharply until 2008 but dropped in 2009. Conclusions: The global use of DDT has not changed substantially since the Stockholm Convention went into effect. The dominance of pyrethroid use has major implications because of the spread of insecticide resistance with the potential to reduce the efficacy of LNs. Managing insecticide resistance should be coordinated between disease-specific programs and sectors of public health and agriculture within the context of an integrated vector management approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-582
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • resistance
  • management
  • countries
  • mosquitos
  • malaria
  • risk


Dive into the research topics of 'Global Trends in the Use of Insecticides to Control Vector-Borne Diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this