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BACTIVEC® Y GRISELESF®, Bio-larvicides for mosquito control

GRISELESF® and BACTIVEC® are natural, highly effective mosquito bio-larvicides. Since the beginning of history, the development of human settlements has been accompanied by the presence of these blood-feeding insects. Apart from the discomfort their bites produce in humans, mosquitoes can transmit a variety of deadly diseases which have always affected a great number of people. Mosquito infestations are especially harmful when human settlements are located in ecosystems with inadequate environmental health conditions, or with poor or insufficient primary health care structures, or both.

Mosquitoes are very adaptable and so have spread indiscriminately to almost every latitude of the planet, but most successfully in tropical regions. It is there that the most favourable conditions are to be found for them to develop their greatest potential for disrupting human life. The epidemiological consequences brought by these insects have been made more serious by human migrations in the natural quest for better living conditions, so that mosquito species that fed only on animals also started to feed on human blood. This in turn has produced ecological imbalances in the natural centres of infections affecting man.

Over the years, a variety of methods and substances have been used to control mosquito larvae, which represent the early stages of the life cycle of these insects and which always develop in an aquatic habitat. Although these methods include physical control, such as the employment of larva-eating fish in the breeding areas, the method which has gained most ground is the uncontrolled use of chemical substances. Chemical products were most popular in the 20th century, when they were seen as almost the only form of effective control. Still in the 21st century they are being used without adequate technical supervision, despite the recommendations of the World Health Organisation. This situation has led to an increasingly inefficient fight against disease-carrying mosquitoes, provoking a rise in mortality rates as well as an ever more polluted environment, causing even more harm to humans, animals and plants.

In response to this problem the Laboratorios Biológicos Farmacéuticos LABIOFAM de CUBA developed two biological larvicides: BACTIVEC® and GRISELESF®. The active ingredients used are bacteria specific to the mosquito larvae, the israelensis variety of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis H-14, and Bacillus sphaericus 2362. The former was isolated by Golberg and Margalit in 1977 in the Negev desert in Israel, and the latter by Kaduna in Nigeria in 1981.

The biological larvicides BACTIVEC® and GRISELESF® developed by LABIOFAM guarantee:

highly effective control of the larvae of different species of mosquito in urban, rural, industrial and tourist development areas, and under the most varied climates and application conditions;

totally harmless effects on other animal and plant species present in the various aquatic habitats where mosquitoes develop;

environmental friendliness, because the are highly biodegradable;

effective integration with environmental health programmes to control diseases transmitted to man by mosquitoes. BACTIVEC® is also effective in combating other carriers of the tropical illness Onchocerciasis;

broad acceptance on the part of the community, because they are seen to be effective, harmless and easy to use. Bactivec has proved effective in small doses against the larvae of the aedes aegypti mosquito. The products can easily be applied by health workers, and can be sprayed even by inhabitants themselves, inside and outside the home.

These products have been effectively used in different parts of Latin America, Africa and Asia. They have been used to successfully combat disease-bearing mosquitoes both preventively and as parts of integrated control programmes. They have also proved useful in epidemics of serious illnesses such as Yellow Fever, Dengue, Malaria, Human Filariasis, various types of Encephalitis and Onchocerciasis or River Blindness . They are also used to control infestations of other species of blood-feeding diptera, whose bites cause discomfort to man both in communities and tourist areas.

BACTIVEC® has been used in Cuba since 1980, and GRISELESF® since 1990. In Cuba these products have been recognised by the Cuban industrial property office and various national ministries. Abroad, these products are recognised by public health and agricultural institutions, private enterprises and United Nations agencies such as PAHO/WHO and UNDP.

In terms of industrial property , BACTIVEC® is registered in 9 countries, while GRISELESF® is registered in 13 countries. Both products have been validated by:

the “Pedro Kourí” Institute of Tropical Medicine;

the UNESCO Collaborating Centre;

the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Medical Malacology and Biological Control of Vectors and Intermediate Hosts of Diseases Transmittable to Man;

the WHO Collaborating Centre for the Study of Viral Infections;

the WHO Collaborating Centre for the Study of Tuberculosis and Mycobacteria;

the National Reference Centre for Vector Monitoring and Control Activities directed by the Vector Monitoring and Control Unit of the Cuban Public Health Ministry;

Complete documentation is available on clinical, laboratory, field and semi-field tests that have been carried out on each product.