In 2000, 22,000 French military personnel were deployed overseas. The French military health service implemented a vector control strategy including personal protection by the use of permethrin preimpregnated battlefield uniforms (BFUs) and the application on the skin of a topical repellent (50% DEET). In 2000, French forces used an industrial process to impregnate cloth with permethrin by soaking it before cut-out of the BFU. A study was implemented in four experimental huts in Côte d’Ivoire to assess the field efficacy of the impregnated BFUs and their resistance to washing. Taking into account the systematic variations in each variable in the field and using a modeling based on logistic regression and discriminant analysis, this study showed that after 6 h without reapplication, the protective effects of the use of DEET as skin repellent was not significant, perhaps due to the high density of Anopheles mosquitoes during the night catching sessions and an average time of effective repellency of <2 or 3 h in the field. The analysis also showed that the French process of industrial impregnation of permethrin of the BFU offered in 2000 some protection from mosquito bites but not enough to reduce significantly the incidence of malaria among nonimmune troops. No positive or negative interaction was noted when DEET and the impregnated BFUs were used together.
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Vol. 41 • No. 5