Conventional control methods include drugs to prevent or treat human infection and disease, vector control tools based on chemical pesticides such as spatial application of insecticides and use of insecticide-impregnated nets, as well as environmental management efforts to decrease the habitat where vectors breed and housing improvement to reduce human exposure.
These methods are all important, but they have not been able to fully solve the public health problem posed by vector borne diseases. Conventional vector control methods can be extremely costly to maintain and insecticide resistance is a problem in the mosquitoes that transmit either malaria or common arboviral diseases. It is widely recognized that current tools likely will be insufficient to eradicate malaria. For example, the World Health Organization reports that progress against malaria has plateaued in recent years and the situation remains precarious, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. They also report that global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically, with about half the world’s population at risk from dengue and other viral diseases carried by the same mosquito species.
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