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CDC Bottle Bioassay Manual Now Available Online

CDC Bottle Bioassay Manual Now Available Online

Image of the bioassay being performed.

Two very effective interventions for preventing insect transmitted (vectorborne) diseases, such as malaria, rely on insecticides: indoor residual spraying (or spraying insecticide on the interior walls of a home) and insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs).

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in other parts of the world are using these interventions widely, saving the lives of millions of children. However, insects, such as mosquitoes, can become resistant to the insecticides used in spray and nets. When this happens, the interventions can become less effective.

The CDC bottle bioassay is designed to determine if a particular formulation (combination of the active ingredient in the insecticide and inactive ingredients) is able to kill an insect vector, such as a mosquito, at a specific location at a given time. It can detect resistance to insecticides in mosquitoes and other insects. The technique is simple, rapid, and economical, compared with alternatives. Bioassay results can help guide the choice of insecticide used for spraying.

A practical laboratory manual that describes how to perform and interpret the CDC bottle bioassay is now available online in three languages.

If your institution or program would like to order a bottle bioassay kit, which contains bottles, insecticide formulations, a manual, and instructional video, please contact CDC to discuss the collaboration at To order only an insecticide resistance formulation for the bioassay, please send your request to

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