The malaria vector Anopheles stephensi is found in wide tracts of Asia and the Middle East.
The use of microbial symbiont to reduce the competence of vectors involved in disease transmission has gained much importance in recent years as an emerging alternative approach towards disease control.
Iran is going to eliminate malaria transmission from the country, precise species identification, especially in complex species will be helpful in the prevention of malaria resurgence in the country, mainly because of common fauna of Anopheles species and through border malaria and population movement within Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran.
The present study provides a more detailed molecular characterization of An. stephensiand suggests the presence of the type-form of the vector for the first time in Sri Lanka. The single mutation in the cox1 gene may be indicative of a founder effect causing the initial diversification of An. stephensi in Sri Lanka from the Indian form.
Sri Lanka was certified as malaria-free by the WHO in September 2016, however, this new finding may pose a serious challenge to the efforts of the Ministry of Health to prevent the re-introduction of malaria transmission in the country, considering the role that An. stephensi could play in urban and high vulnerability areas of Sri Lanka.
Control of the adult vector populations can be successful only by understanding the resting and feeding preferences.
Based on the results, the reported resistance to pyrethroid and organophosphate insecticides, and tolerance to bendiocarb in the Kunar and Nangarhar populations of An. stephensi from Afghanistan are likely to be caused by a range of metabolic mechanisms, including esterases, P450s and GSTs combined with target site insensitivity in AChE.
Knowledge of larval ecology of vector mosquitoes is a key factor in risk assessment and for implementing appropriate and sustainable vector control operations.
The findings that OHTs showed fairly high and consistent immature density of An. stephensi irrespective of seasons indicates the potentiality of the breeding habitat in contributing to vector density.
While the operationalizing of excreta/feces testing may require the development of new strategies for sample collection, the high-throughput nature of this new methodology has the potential to greatly reduce MX costs.