Urban Vector Control

In this short film, our partner Valent BioSciences explores the threat posed by mosquito-borne illnesses such as Zika and how, with new tools and techniques, health officials are fighting back.

With a growing urban population and a rise in international travel, the world faces a number of public health challenges – not least the threat of mosquito-borne illnesses such as Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue. Urban environments provide the perfect habitat for the container-breeding mosquitoes that carry these diseases. Yet due to their nature, these habitats are often numerous and arduous to locate and treat, making the control of mosquito populations and the spread of disease a significant challenge.

In response to the rising threat, health officials around the world are doing ground-breaking work to control and limit the spread of these viruses, combining their understanding of vector biology with proven targeted solutions. Through large-scale organised application of larvicides and adulticides, along with an efficient and effective data-driven approach, health officials in areas such as Cambodia, Malaysia and Florida have significantly reduced the incidence of dengue. Their work offers hope that we have both the science and the tools to manage and mitigate outbreaks of other mosquito-transmitted diseases like Zika—in the Americas and beyond.

Watch our new Urban Vector Control video:

McLaughlin Gormley King

For natural pyrethrum based – urban vector control solutions, please see our partner MGK’s website.

Integrated Vector Management

Integrated Vector Management (IVM) is defined by the World Health Organisation as “a rational decision-making process to optimize the use of resources for vector control”*. IVM is based on the promotion and use of a range of interventions – alone or in combination – selected on the basis of local knowledge of the vectors, diseases and the many factors that affect transmission. The IVM approach addresses several diseases concurrently, because many vectors can transmit more than one disease and some interventions are effective against several vectors. IVM will reduce the pressure imposed by insecticides to select for insecticide resistance.

IVM requires a management approach that improves the efficacy, cost effectiveness, ecological soundness and sustainability of vector control interventions using the available tools and resources. In the face of current challenges to vector control, the IVM approach is vital to achieving both national and global targets for vector-borne disease control.

Sumitomo Chemical fully supports the principles of IVM. Our range of products can be used to assist in IVM based control strategies by integrating both non-chemical and chemical vector control interventions with other disease control solutions. We are committed to developing innovative solutions which will contribute further to the IVM portfolio of available products and to reducing not only malaria but also many other vector borne diseases.

* WHO/HTM/NTD/VEM/2012.3

For more information on IVM see

Insecticide Resistance

Resistance to insecticides may be defined as ‘a heritable change in the sensitivity of a pest population that is reflected in the repeated failure of a product to achieve the expected level of control when used according to the label recommendation for that pest species’ (IRAC).

The use of insecticides as such does not create resistance but it can develop through the overuse or misuse of an insecticide against a pest species. Resistance develops when naturally occurring genetic variation allows a small proportion of the population to resist and survive the effects of the insecticide. If this advantage is maintained by continually using the same insecticide, the resistant insects will reproduce and the genetic changes that confer resistance are transferred from parents to offspring so that eventually they become numerous within the population.

Major factors that influence resistance development :

  • Application frequency
  • Dosage
  • Persistence of effect
  • Rate of reproduction
  • Population isolation
  • Population isolation

Courtesy of IRAC

Vector control remains the most effective method of controlling malaria and other insect-borne diseases, but is highly reliant on just four classes of insecticide and only pyrethroids for use in LLINs (long lasting insecticide nets). The availability of only a few classes of insecticide for vector control and the heavy use of pyrethroids in LLINs as well as for Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and in agriculture has caused significant insecticide resistance in some parts of the world. Areas with higher levels of malaria transmission and therefore widespread use of LLINs, namely Sub-Saharan Africa and India, are most at risk, making the development of new insecticides for use on bed nets a high priority to prevent this increasing problem.

Courtesy of IRAC Public Health

Sumitomo Chemical is working on several strategies to combat resistance in insect vectors and is also collaborating with the IVCC (Innovative Vector Control Consortium) to develop an innovative solution to resistance to pyrethroids in LLINs using the latest research and technology.

In the interim, our new IRS product SumiShield™ 50WG offers a breakthrough new mode of action insecticide and our pioneering Olyset Plus® is the first and only net on the market with a synergist incorporated on all surfaces to deliver knockdown and kill against pyrethroid-resistant mosquitoes exhibiting the major metabolic resistance mechanism.

Manufacturing in Africa

‘Made in Africa, by Africans, for Africans’

Olyset Net is a vital tool in the fight against malaria.

In Africa, a child dies from malaria every 40 seconds. The first WHO-recommended LLIN to be manufactured in Africa, Olyset Net started production in Africa in 2003 when Sumitomo Chemical provided a royalty-free technology license to A to Z Textile Mills in Arusha, Tanzania, and expanded in 2008 with the official opening of a 50:50 joint venture factory. This expanded our partnership with A to Z in East Africa, and by 2010, Olyset Net production capacity reached 30 million LLINs per year, creating 8,000 jobs; more than half of the global Olyset Net output and an outstanding contribution to the local economy.

Sumitomo Chemical adheres to the belief that to be sustainable, bednet production must be localized in Africa. Local production in Africa provides a vital public health product and simultaneously boosts economic development beyond aid and towards self-sustaining enterprise.

For an analysis of the economic impact of the Olyset Net production facilities in Arusha, please see the study by the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies here.