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Program to eradicate malaria in Sardinia, 1946-1950.

Tognotti E - Emerging Infect. Dis. (2009)

Bottom Line: During 1946-1950, the Rockefeller Foundation conducted a large-scale experiment in Sardinia to test the feasibility of indigenous vector species eradication.The interruption of malaria transmission did not require vector eradication, but with a goal of developing a new strategy to fight malaria, the choice was made to wage a rapid attack with a powerful new chemical.Costing millions of dollars, 267 metric tons of DDT were spread over the island.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Sassari, Sardinia, Italy. tognotti@tiscali.it

ABSTRACT
During 1946-1950, the Rockefeller Foundation conducted a large-scale experiment in Sardinia to test the feasibility of indigenous vector species eradication. The interruption of malaria transmission did not require vector eradication, but with a goal of developing a new strategy to fight malaria, the choice was made to wage a rapid attack with a powerful new chemical. Costing millions of dollars, 267 metric tons of DDT were spread over the island. Although malaria was eliminated, the main objective, complete eradication of the vector, was not achieved. Despite its being considered almost eradicated in the mid-1940s, malaria 60 years later is still a major public health problem throughout the world, and its eradication is back on the global health agenda.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Aerial spraying of DDT in Sardinia, 1948. Photograph by Wolfgang Suschitzky. Reprinted with permission from Istituto Etnografico della Sardegna.
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Figure 4: Aerial spraying of DDT in Sardinia, 1948. Photograph by Wolfgang Suschitzky. Reprinted with permission from Istituto Etnografico della Sardegna.

Mentions: At the end of 1948, the campaign entered its final phase. In the summer of 1948, the last offensive against Anopheles larvae (Figure 3) was launched as sort of a “Normandy Landing” with an army of 30,000 men. Foci were cleaned with long-handled billhooks, vegetation was cut back, 100,000 acres of swampland were drained, and tons of insecticide were spread over the island by aircraft and helicopters (Figure 4). At the height of the campaign, the weekly amount of pure DDT spread was about 3,250 kg. Approximately 110 km2 of water had been treated with a dose of 30 mg/m2 (33). At the end of that year, the management of ERLAAS announced that the number of breeding places of Labranchiae mosquitoes had been drastically reduced. The presumed reduction was 99.93%. The remaining positive foci were mainly in isolated areas (34). In 1950, for the first time in the history of Sardinia, no new cases of the disease were reported on the island (Table 2).


Program to eradicate malaria in Sardinia, 1946-1950.

Tognotti E - Emerging Infect. Dis. (2009)

Aerial spraying of DDT in Sardinia, 1948. Photograph by Wolfgang Suschitzky. Reprinted with permission from Istituto Etnografico della Sardegna.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2819864&req=5

Figure 4: Aerial spraying of DDT in Sardinia, 1948. Photograph by Wolfgang Suschitzky. Reprinted with permission from Istituto Etnografico della Sardegna.
Mentions: At the end of 1948, the campaign entered its final phase. In the summer of 1948, the last offensive against Anopheles larvae (Figure 3) was launched as sort of a “Normandy Landing” with an army of 30,000 men. Foci were cleaned with long-handled billhooks, vegetation was cut back, 100,000 acres of swampland were drained, and tons of insecticide were spread over the island by aircraft and helicopters (Figure 4). At the height of the campaign, the weekly amount of pure DDT spread was about 3,250 kg. Approximately 110 km2 of water had been treated with a dose of 30 mg/m2 (33). At the end of that year, the management of ERLAAS announced that the number of breeding places of Labranchiae mosquitoes had been drastically reduced. The presumed reduction was 99.93%. The remaining positive foci were mainly in isolated areas (34). In 1950, for the first time in the history of Sardinia, no new cases of the disease were reported on the island (Table 2).

Bottom Line: During 1946-1950, the Rockefeller Foundation conducted a large-scale experiment in Sardinia to test the feasibility of indigenous vector species eradication.The interruption of malaria transmission did not require vector eradication, but with a goal of developing a new strategy to fight malaria, the choice was made to wage a rapid attack with a powerful new chemical.Costing millions of dollars, 267 metric tons of DDT were spread over the island.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Sassari, Sardinia, Italy. tognotti@tiscali.it

ABSTRACT
During 1946-1950, the Rockefeller Foundation conducted a large-scale experiment in Sardinia to test the feasibility of indigenous vector species eradication. The interruption of malaria transmission did not require vector eradication, but with a goal of developing a new strategy to fight malaria, the choice was made to wage a rapid attack with a powerful new chemical. Costing millions of dollars, 267 metric tons of DDT were spread over the island. Although malaria was eliminated, the main objective, complete eradication of the vector, was not achieved. Despite its being considered almost eradicated in the mid-1940s, malaria 60 years later is still a major public health problem throughout the world, and its eradication is back on the global health agenda.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus