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World Malaria Day: Syngenta’s contribution

April 25, 2013

Malaria remains a major threat to public health in many parts of the world and is responsible for the death of more than 660,000 people a year, including many farmers and their families. Syngenta teams across the world are working to discover new ways to prevent the spread of the disease.

World Malaria Day: Syngenta’s contribution

While there has been tremendous progress in the treatment of malaria in recent years through better pharmaceuticals and rapid diagnostic tests, controlling the mosquitoes which spread the disease (vector control) is vitally important to protect public health.

For the past 30 years, the world has been relying on the same four classes of insecticide chemistry to fight mosquitoes. As a consequence, mosquitoes have become resistant to all of these classes, leading to an urgent search for novel approaches.

Syngenta has reformulated ingredient product to create Actellic® 300CS. This long-lasting formulation controls mosquitoes resistant to pyrethroids (the most commonly used class of chemistry) when used as an indoor residual house spray.

The development of Actellic 300CS was supported by the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC). The IVCC, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a product development partnership with the mission of improving health by enabling partnerships for the development and delivery of new insect control products.

“After the successful first partnership with the IVCC, and with further innovation in the team’s sights, we decided to extend our collaboration to the research and development of new active ingredients that are desperately needed as resistance grows,” explains Mark Birchmore, Head of Vector Control.

This novel partnership model has created a project where IVCC’s funding supports Syngenta expertise to build a pipeline of novel chemistry specifically for mosquito control.

“Our team is working on a rich pipeline of chemicals and many show potential for use against this awful disease. Malaria represents a huge economic burden as people affected are unable to work, and that’s even if they have access to treatment,” adds Birchmore.

As the world marks World Malaria Day on April 25, Syngenta will be actively supporting this year’s theme “Invest in the Future, Invest in Malaria”.

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What is “indoor residual spraying”?

Indoor residual spraying (IRS) works by coating interior walls with an insecticide from floor to ceiling. When a mosquito lands on the wall, it picks up a dose of insecticide and dies. Traditional formulations are typically effective for 2 to 3 months when applied as a spray, while Actellic is effective for at least 6 months − so residents are protected from malaria for longer.

Actellic is registered in Benin, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. Many more countries affected by malaria are to follow in 2013/14.

About malaria

Malaria is a vector borne disease caused by a parasite called Plasmodium. There are five species capable of infecting humans, which are transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes (Anopheles species). In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells. Left untreated malaria is a life-threatening disease that disrupts the blood supply to vital organs and also causes significant side effects.

Today, there are around 200 million cases each year globally and over 660,000 deaths − mostly of children under five years old. The World Health Organization (WHO) theme for malaria day 2013 is: «Invest in the future. Defeat malaria». For more information visit the WHO website.