Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: Dod Afpmb and USDA ARS Team Up to Develop New Insecticides for Mosquito Control. Authors
Submitted to: Wingbeats
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 11, 2009
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
Citation: Hoel, D., Pridgeon, J.W., Bernier, U.R., Chauhan, K., Meepagala, K., Cantrell, C. 2010. Departments of Defense and Agriculture team up to develop new insecticides for mosquito control. Wing Beats. 21(1):29-34. Interpretive Summary: Mosquitoes spread disease that causes sickness and death in people all over the world. Chemical insecticides are normally used to help reduce the amount of disease to people. However, many of the insecticides that were used before cannot be used now since they may harm the environment. Scientists from USDA-ARS laboratories that include the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL, the Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory in Beltsville, MD, and the Natural Products Utilization Research Unit in Oxford, MS are working to discover new products to control and kill mosquitoes and other insects that spread disease. The work is funded by the US Department of Defense under a project named the “Deployed War-Fighter Protection” program. These new products will benefit both the military and civilian population of the United States, and are likely to be used world-wide to protect people from mosquitoes and other biting insects.
Technical Abstract: Mosquito-borne pathogens continue to be one of the leading source of human disease that cause human morbidity and moribundity worldwide. In some cases, vaccines are effective methods of disease reduction; however, in many situations, the reliance is upon insecticides for control, including the use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs). Due to increased insecticide resistance and ecological concerns resulting from the use of some insecticide classes, the number of public health pesticides available for mosquito control continues to decrease over time. Therefore, it is imperative to conduct research to develop new insecticides for mosquito control. The Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB) within the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) working with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to develop new public health insecticides. These efforts are focused at the following ARS labs: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit (MFRU) at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) in Gainesville, FL; the Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory (IIBBL) in Beltsville, MD; and the Natural Products Utilization Research Unit (NPURU) in Oxford, MS. The funds for this research are supplied by the Deployed War-Fighter Protection (DFWP) research program. Scientists at the MFRU have developed a high-throughput larval screening technique to evaluate thousands of candidate insecticides. The more potent compounds are further screened for adulticidal action. A majority of these candidates come from industry; however, there is an in-house funded project that employs Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship (QSAR) studies to examine the USDA historical archives of compounds tested since it’s inception in 1942. Active compounds are then passed on to collaborators for registration and production. The IIBBL is working on developing insecticides from naturally-produced plant toxins, fast acting pyrethroids, and the development of second generation fast-acting insecticides. The NPURU conducts research on native plants to discover natural products with insecticidal properties. Their work is conducted on both the natural product and the derivatives.