Dogs are the main domestic reservoir of Leishmania infantum in the Old World (Leishmania chagasi in the New World) a parasite responsible for many cases of human visceral leishmaniasis in both endemic and non-endemic regions. One strategy for the control of leishmaniasis would be to prevent dogs from being bitten by sandflies, the vector of leishmaniasis. This study was designed to assess the efficacy of spraying a combination of permethrin and pyriproxyfen on to dogs artificially exposed to sandflies. Two groups of four male dogs, one of them treated and the other left untreated as controls, were exposed for one hour to 100 female sandflies seven days before the treatment, on the day of treatment and seven, 14, 21, and 28 days later. After each exposure, sandflies were collected, counted and scored. The prevention of sandfly bite was calculated by measuring the number of fed sandflies (dead and alive) after treatment. In this experimental assay, the repellent effect of the treatment against sandfly bites after 21 days was 71·4 per cent, but the insecticidal effect was only 7·2 per cent.
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