Entomological Monitoring

Photo of entomologist transferring mosquito from petri dish

The recent progress in malaria control has been largely accomplished through a massive increase in vector control from the use of ITNs and IRS. Since both of these prevention measures depend on the ability of insecticides to kill, repel, or reduce the lifespan of female mosquitoes, understanding and monitoring the composition of the vector population, mosquito behavior, and insecticide resistance status are critical to their continued effectiveness.

Currently, WHO recommends twelve insecticides in four different classes for use in IRS programs. In contrast, because of its human safety and insecticidal properties, pyrethroids are the only insecticide class recommended for treatment of bed nets at this time. Pyrethroids are the cheapest and safest insecticides used for IRS and are also among the most popular insecticides for both agriculture and domestic use. While they are potent, safe, and relatively inexpensive, genes that confer resistance to pyrethroids are spreading through the important malaria vectors in Africa, posing a significant threat to malaria control progress.

The first step in responding to the threat of insecticide resistance is increased monitoring to detect changes in insecticide susceptibility. In addition, with changing malaria epidemiology and changing ecology and biology of mosquito vectors – as well as new chemicals and formulations becoming available for vector control in the next few years – it is essential that countries develop the entomological capacity to monitor, adapt, and respond to changes in malaria vector populations, as well as to ensure investments in ITNs and IRS are efficacious and effectively targeted.

PMI has been a global leader in building the capacity of countries to conduct comprehensive entomological monitoring, including insecticide resistance testing. This has provided robust data to PMI-supported vector control programs. For countries conducting IRS, entomological monitoring data has enabled better decision-making about where and with which insecticides to spray.

Final Reports



Democratic Republic of the Congo















Photo source: Maggie Hallahan Photography