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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Research Project #436029

Research Project: Bite Protection Testing

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Project Number: 6036-32000-052-06-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Feb 1, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

Determine how well Value Engineering Change Proposal (VECP) U.S. Army fire retardant (FR) fabrics that are coated with permethrin retain this repellent and prevent mosquito bites.

This research will be conducted using the “bite protection” assay developed by Mosquito and Fly Research Unit (MFRU)/Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) to establish the level at which permethrin-treated U.S. Army uniform fabrics prevent mosquito bites. The source of fabric swatches will be from the Natick Soldier Center. The bite protection assay will be conducted on treated fabric by using human volunteers in an Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved study protocol. Volunteers wear sewn sleeves of the uniform material to test if the coated garment prevents mosquito bites in a laboratory assay. The results will be compared to an untreated control sleeve to determine the benefit of encapsulated repellent as a function of the percentage reduction in bites compared to the control. Tests are conducted with fabric that is treated prior to laundering, treated fabric washed 20 times and treated fabric washed 50 times. The 50 wash end point constitutes the expected lifetime of the uniform as a function of numbers of launderings. Studies are intended to be tested against multiple strains of mosquitoes to determine if the strain affects the outcome of the experiments. The final report is used by the United States Army to determine if uniform fabric containing encapsulated repellents functions to prevent bites and if it does, to determine the duration of this protection.