Research on the testing of topical repellents published by Oxford University Press

The Journal of Medical Entomology has published research on the two new alternatives to the conventional arm-in-cage test for assessing topical repellents. This research was funded jointly by A.I.S.E. and by Biocides for Europe (B4E), a Cefic sector group that facilitated the exchanges with industry representatives. 

European guidelines for testing attractant and repellent efficacy have been in revision since 2017. A key topic of discussion is the current approach to evaluating topical repellents. The European Chemical Agency has stated field testing should be avoided because of mosquito-borne disease risks. However, the most common laboratory method, the arm-in-cage (AIC) test, may limit the reliable extrapolation of lab results to field conditions. This study’s main goal was to assess alternative laboratory methods for evaluating topical mosquito repellents that use mosquito landing rates more representative of those in the field. The study took place at three European testing labs.

This study confirmed that the two alternative methods described here—the sleeved AIC test and the RT—can be used in Europe as alternatives to the conventional AIC test. Its results provide indications that these methods could assess how repellents will perform under outdoor conditions of use without exposing study participants to the health risks associated with field testing.

Read the article Two New Alternatives to the Conventional Arm-in-Cage Test for Assessing Topical Repellents