Speakers - Walter S. Leal

Type of the Presentation: (Plenary Lecture)


Out Zika! With repellents that repel

Walter S. Leal


1  University of California, Davis, CA, USA

*  Correspondence: wsleal@ucdavis.edu


When infected mosquitoes strike, be it during an epidemic or an outbreak, insect repellents are the first line of defense for local populations and travellers. For everything else, including control and/or eradication of mosquito populations, strategies to reduce disease transmission, and development of vaccine, we must rely on governmental actions. Repellents have been widely used in regions where malaria, dengue, encephalitis and other vector-borne diseases are endemic. With the recent Zika virus pandemic, the World Health Organization recommended the use of insect repellents (DEET, picaridin, and IR3535) to reduce this virus transmission. Developed in the early 1950s, DEET is the oldest synthetic repellent in the market. In the 1970s, Merck developed IR3535 and in the sunset of last century Beyer developed KBR3023, also known as icaridin, picaridin, and Bayrepel™. “Exposis, developed by France's Osler, has received media attention in Brazil because it is the only brand on the market with the active ingredient Icaridin. Many Brazilians consider it the most effective repellant against the Aedes mosquito” (Bruno, L; 2016). In addition to these and other synthetic repellents, there is a plethora of natural repellents, which were developed in part to satisfy the notion that “natural is safe and good,” and to generate more affordable products. However, when it comes to reducing disease transmission, one must wear insect repellents that are effective against infected mosquitoes. Are these natural and synthetic products effective prophylactic tools for travellers and people living in endemic areas? In this presentation, I will discuss our findings regarding effectiveness of natural and synthetic repellents, particularly for use against Zika virus transmission.

Bruno, L., 2016: http://www.reuters.com/article/health-zika-repellant-idUSL8N15I52T


This research was supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (1R21AI128931).