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Commercialisation of the LSTM Barrier bed net
Investigator(s): Dr David Weetman
Amount Awarded: 102,000

Insecticide treated nets are a crucial tool to prevent malaria but their effectiveness is threatened by resistance to the pyrethroid insecticides used. Initiatives to combat this include combining additional insecticides to produce dual-treated nets, or less-commonly to modify the physical net design to increase mosquito-insecticide contact. The LSTM Barrier bed net is a physically-modified design of a dual-treated net, which has an additional treated barrier standing proud from the roof of the net. This design is based on the flight behaviour of female mosquitoes seeking a blood meal from sleepers under nets, which mean they come into contact disproportionately with the roof barrier. Preliminary trials have shown that the barrier nets kill many more mosquitoes than standard nets. For this net design to be brought to commercial production we need to demonstrate that the nets can be hung in housing successfully in malaria endemic settings, that users accept the new net format, and that the increased mosquito killing capacity of the nets translates into reduced disease transmission. This award will fund the acceptability pilot testing in a disease endemic village setting and allow us to generate the trial design and obtain the ethics approval for a full-scale field trial to assess impact of the Barrier bed nets.