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ICMR invites comments on ‘Common Protocol for Uniform Evaluation of Public Health Pesticides for use in Vector Control’

Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai
Friday, March 31, 2023, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has invited written comments and/or inputs from wider section of scientific community on the Revised Third Edition of ‘Common Protocol for Uniform Evaluation of Public Health Pesticides for use in Vector Control’ for a period of one month from March 28, 2023 to April 28, 2023 (i.e. within 30 days from the date of placing the document on the website).

Comments on this revised protocol may be sent at: commonprotocolcomments@gmail.com within the stipulated date.

Integrated vector management (IVM) is a universally accepted strategy for the prevention/control of vector-borne diseases in a cost-effective and sustained manner. The National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC), formerly known as the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP), the nodal agency of the Government of India for the control of vector borne diseases, has endorsed the strategy. Among the available vector control methods, chemical control remains the major method used in the control programmes, especially in mitigating sporadic, unpredictable outbreaks of vector-borne diseases.

Deployment of chemical control embraces the whole gamut of measures that include indoor residual spraying (IRS), application of larvicides and insect growth regulators (IGRs), use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and a list of household insecticide formulations for personal protection.

In India, the NCVBDC largely relies on site-specific chemical control, using insecticides of different classes. A major impediment to this method has been the development of resistance in vector species to the insecticides in use, which necessitates the replacement of the insecticides with new insecticides showing adequate biological efficacy and human and environmental safety.

The WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) was the only international programme engaged in promoting and evaluating pesticides for public health use by providing technical assistance to the member countries and encouraging the industries to develop alternate insecticides for vector control programme. Now WHOPES has been replaced by WHO Pre-qualification-vector control (WHO PQ-VC).

As stated above, NCVBDC has been the nodal agency for introduction of new public health pesticide products (PHPs), which include insecticides/insecticide formulations/LLINs/bio-larvicides registered in the CIB & RC, for vector control under the national programme based on their need, suitability and adaptability to Indian conditions assessed through laboratory and multi-centric field trials by recognised universities and research organizations (ICMR/NCDC).

Although there are general guidelines by the erstwhile WHOPES for the evaluation of insecticides, considering diverse eco-epidemiological conditions/situations prevailing in India and the varying capacity of the institutes involved in insecticide/product evaluation in terms of expertise, it is important to harmonize the methodologies for evaluation of vector control products. This uniformity will facilitate the comparison of results generated by different institutes and decisions on the suitability of products for use in Indian conditions. Therefore, the development of a common protocol for uniform evaluation of public health pesticides, including bio-larvicides, becomes imperative. Keeping this in view and inline with the WHOPES guidelines for insecticide evaluation, a common protocol was jointly prepared by the ICMR-National Institute for Malaria Research (ICMR-NIMR), New Delhi, and the ICMR-Vector Control Research Centre (ICMR-VCRC), Puducherry in the year 2005 (First edition), which was revised/updated in 2014 (Second edition) by the Sub-Committee on a revision of SOP and common protocol constituted by the director general, ICMR.

The original and the revised second edition protocols were designed based on the information/knowledge on insecticide classes, insecticide formulations, mode of action, long-lasting insecticidal net (LLIN) technology, evaluation parameters, and testing procedures available at that time.

The current (Third) edition of the common protocol is an expanded and updated version of the earlier editions of the protocol. The protocol is prepared for testing and evaluation of insecticides or insecticide formulations against mosquito vectors.


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