DDT scores a new victory as a malaria fighter

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Ddt_molecule Brand new research shifts the jury in favor of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) spraying:

There has been no failure in understanding that DDT is by far the most cost-effective chemical yet discovered for sustained use in malaria control programs.

Given that spatial repellent action is the first order action of DDT residues, resistance to a toxic action may not signify that DDT will no longer exert control over malaria transmission.

Resistance to a toxic action seems to have no influence on the behavioral responses of mosquitoes to spatial repellent or contact irritant actions.

To date, a truly efficacious DDT replacement has not been found and one may never be found because of the true nature in which DDT functions. Success through the mechanism of spatial repellency means that DDT functions as a form of chemical screening, which stops mosquitoes from entering houses and thus breaks the man/vector contact at its most critical point: when people are sleeping in their homes.

The Wall Street Journal, which has traditionally been in favor of spraying, published two editorials calling for the use of DDT both domestically, to fight West Nile virus, and abroad against malaria [both require subscription]. The New York Times joins in.

The Japan Times sketches out the history of the opposition to DDT.

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