Prevention of malaria is best achieved by vector control which in Africa currently relies almost entirely on the use of residual insecticides in the domestic environment. Wide scale implementation of tools such as indoor residual spraying (IRS) and long lasting insecticide impregnated bednets (LLINs) have led to impressive decreases in malaria transmission in some regions and these interventions are the cornerstone of malaria control programmes in most African countries. However, despite their proven efficacy, sustained malaria control in Africa will not be achievable with such a limited arsenal of tools to tackle the highly heterogeneous and adaptable populations of malaria vectors found throughout the continent. It is clear to all in the malaria community that significant advances are needed in order to secure the future of malaria prevention by vector control.
The AvecNet consortium presents a focused and pragmatic approach to meet this challenge. We aim to ensure the sustainability of current intervention strategies by investing in the development and evaluation of new insecticides and approaches to overcome insecticide resistance, designing new tools and interventions targeting mosquitoes that evade existing control strategies,increasing the knowledge base on the biology and behaviour of mosquitoes and planning for vector control in a changing environment.
The Avecnet Project consists of 10 work packages which together will deliver novel and improved tools for malaria control, advance knowledge and provide a foundation for future developments by capacity building and collaboration in Europe and Africa.
Key principles of the project include:
Partnership and integration: Our team includes multi-disciplinary researchers in Africa and Europe and innovators from the agricultural chemical industry. We have links to drivers of the global malaria research agenda, policy makers and with national malaria control programmes industry.
Building capacity: By providing training and mentoring, including support in statistical analysis and data presentation, we are helping to build a stronger cohort of malaria control specialists who can help drive and implement the success from AvecNet and other vector control programmes.
A focus on translational research: Our activities span the product development pipeline. All are closely monitored to ensure that the data collated is robust, complete, and helps accelerate the implantation of new and improved vector control tools.