PAGES: DOI: 10.1590/0074-02760160291 Full paper

Maria de Fatima P. Militão de Albuquerque1, Wayner V. de Souza1, Antônio da Cruz G Mendes1, Tereza M. Lyra1, Ricardo A. A. Ximenes2,3, Thália V. B. Araújo3, Cynthia Braga1, Demócrito B. Miranda-Filho2, Celina M. T. Martelli1, Laura C. Rodrigues4+

1Department of Public Health, Aggeu Magalhães Research Centre, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
2Federal University of Pernambuco
3Pernambuco University
4London School of Hygiene and Public Health


The microcephaly epidemic in Brazil generated intense debates about its causality and one of the hypothesis proposed for the cause of the microcephaly epidemic in Brazil, now recognized as congenital ZIKV syndrome was the treatment of drinking water tanks with Pyriproxyfen to control Aedes aegypti larvae. We present results of a geographical analysis of the association between the prevalence of microcephaly confirmed by Fenton curves and type of larvicide used by municipalities where the mothers live in the Metropolitan Region of Recife (RMR) in Pernambuco, the first state in Brazil to detect the epidemic. The overall rate of microcephaly was 82 per 10,000 livebirths for the three municipalities that did not use Pyriproxyfen, using BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) and 69 per 10,000 livebirths for the eleven municipalities that made use of the Pyriproxyfen, a difference not statistically significant. This make clear that the prevalence of microcephaly was not higher in the areas where Pyriproxyfen was used and therefore that Pyriproxyfen was not the cause of the epidemic. However, our findings do not invalidate the argument that improvements in urban environment maybe a better choice than larvicide treatment of drinking water for mosquito control, nor exclude other potential toxicity of Pyriproxyfen.


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