Zoological gardens contain unique configurations of exotic and endemic animals and plants that create a diverse range of developing sites and potential sources of blood meals for local mosquitoes. This may imply unusual interspecific pathogen transmission risks involving zoo vertebrates, like avian malaria to captive penguins. Understanding mosquito ecology and host feeding patterns is necessary to improve mosquito control and disease prevention measures in these environments.
We investigate how technology 'co-development' (between researchers, stakeholders and local communities) is framed in practice by those developing gene drive mosquitos for malaria eradication. Our case study focuses on UK and Mali-based researchers planning to undertake the first field trials in Mali of gene drive mosquitos for malaria control. While they and the wider gene drive research community are explicitly committed to the principle of co-development, how this is framed and practiced is not clear.
Because mosquitoes are a public health concern, several chemical insect repellents have been created and used for many years. While some of these products, such as DEET and permethrin, are effective at controlling mosquito populations, their excessive use may lead to animal, human, and environmental harm if applied improperly. Understanding the life cycles of mosquitoes, their feeding preferences, and their responses to natural plant extracts could enable scientists to develop more environmentally safe but still effective insect repellents.
Pyriproxyfen (PPF), an insect growth hormone mimic is widely used as a larvicide and in some second-generation bed nets, where it is combined with pyrethroids to improve impact. It has also been evaluated as a candidate for auto-dissemination by adult mosquitoes to control Aedes and Anopheles species. We examined whether PPF added to larval habitats of pyrethroid-resistant malaria vectors can modulate levels of resistance among emergent adult mosquitoes.
The correct identification of mosquito vectors is often hampered by the presence of morphologically indiscernible sibling species. The Maculipennis complex is one of these groups that include both malaria vectors of primary importance and species of low/negligible epidemiological relevance, of which distribution data in Italy are outdated. Our study was aimed at providing an updated distribution of Maculipennis complex in Northern Italy through the sampling and morphological/molecular identification of specimens from five regions.
The African Union’s High-Level Panel on Emerging Technologies identified gene drive mosquitoes as a priority technology for malaria elimination. The first field trials are expected in 5–10 years in Uganda, Mali or Burkina Faso. In preparation, regional and international actors are developing risk governance guidelines which will delineate the framework for identifying and evaluating risks. Scientists and bioethicists have called for African stakeholder involvement in these developments, arguing the knowledge and perspectives of those people living in malaria-afflicted countries is currently missing. However, few African stakeholders have been involved to date, leaving a knowledge gap about the local social-cultural as well as ecological context in which gene drive mosquitoes will be tested and deployed. This study investigates and analyses Ugandan stakeholders’ hopes and concerns about gene drive mosquitoes for malaria control and explores the new directions needed for risk governance.
Plasmodium cynomolgi is a simian malaria parasite that has been reported as a naturally acquired human infection. The present study aims to systematically review reports on naturally acquired P. cynomolgi in humans, mosquitoes, and macaques to provide relevant data for pre-emptive surveillance and preparation in the event of an outbreak of zoonotic malaria in Southeast Asia.
New vector control tools are required to sustain the fight against malaria. Lethal house lures, which target mosquitoes as they attempt to enter houses to blood feed, are one approach. Here we evaluated lethal house lures consisting of In2Care (Wageningen, Netherlands) Eave Tubes, which provide point-source insecticide treatments against host-seeking mosquitoes, in combination with house screening, which aims to reduce mosquito entry.
In the absence of a method to culture Plasmodium vivax, the only way to source parasites is ex vivo. This hampers many aspects of P. vivax research. This study aimed to assess the safety of apheresis, a method for selective removal of specific components of blood as a means of extracting and concentrating P. vivax parasites.
Rapidly increasing pyrethroid insecticide resistance and changes in vector biting and resting behavior pose serious challenges in malaria control. Mosquito repellents, especially spatial repellents, have received much attention from industry. We attempted to simulate interactions between mosquitoes and repellents using a machine learning method, the Self-Propelled Particle (SPP) model, which we modified to include attractiveness/repellency effects. We simulated a random walk scenario and scenarios with insecticide susceptible/resistant mosquitoes against repellent alone and against repellent plus attractant (to mimic a human host).