Despite centuries of enormous control efforts, mosquito-borne diseases continue to show upward trend of morbidity. According to WHO reports, malaria caused 438000 deaths in the year 2015 and dengue cases has been increased 30-fold over the last five decades. To control these diseases, it is necessary to understand the transmission dynamics of them among mosquitoes. There are some vertically transmitted mosquito-borne diseases which can also be spread among mosquitoes through sexual contact (e.g., dengue, zika, chikungunya).
Insecticide-treated bed nets reduce malaria transmission by limiting contact between mosquito vectors and human hosts when mosquitoes feed during the night. However, malaria vectors can also feed in the early evening and in the morning when people are not protected. Here, we explored how the timing of blood feeding interacts with environmental temperature to influence the capacity of Anopheles mosquitoes to transmit the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.
A possible malaria control approach involves the dissemination in mosquitoes of inherited symbiotic microbes to block Plasmodium transmission. However, in the Anopheles gambiae complex, the primary African vectors of malaria, there are limited reports of inherited symbionts that impair transmission. We show that a vertically transmitted microsporidian symbiont (Microsporidia MB) in the An. gambiae complex can impair Plasmodium transmission.
Optimization of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostics requires the careful selection of molecular targets that are both highly repetitive and pathogen-specific. Advances in both next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and bioinformatics-based analysis tools are facilitating this selection process, informing target choices and reducing labor. Once developed, such assays provide disease control and elimination programs with an additional set of tools capable of evaluating and monitoring intervention successes. The importance of such tools is heightened as intervention efforts approach their endpoints, as accurate and complete information is an essential component of the informed decision-making process. As global efforts for the control and elimination of both lymphatic filariasis and malaria continue to make significant gains, the benefits of diagnostics with improved analytical and clinical/field-based sensitivities and specificities will become increasingly apparent.
Aedes-transmitted diseases, especially dengue, are increasing throughout the world and the main preventive methods include vector control and the avoidance of mosquito bites. A simple Premise Condition Index (PCI) categorizing shade, house, and yard conditions was previously developed to help prioritize households or geographical areas where resources are limited. However, evidence about the accuracy of the PCI is mixed.
Attractive Toxic Sugar Baits (ATSB) are used in a “lure-and-kill” approach for management of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, but the active chemicals were previously unknown. Here we collected volatiles from a mango, Mangifera indica, juice bait which is used in ATSBs in Tanzania and tested mosquito responses. In a Y-tube olfactometer, female mosquitoes were attracted to the mango volatiles collected 24–48 h, 48–72 h and 72–96 h after preparing the bait but volatiles collected at 96–120 h were no longer attractive.
When there is significant uncertainty in an innovation project, research literature suggests that strictly sequencing actions and stages may not be an appropriate mode of project management. We use a longitudinal process approach and qualitative system dynamics modelling to study the development of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes for malaria eradication in an African country.
The species-specific mode of action for DEET and many other mosquito repellents is often unclear. Confusion may arise for many reasons. First, the response of a single mosquito species is often used to represent all mosquito species. Second, behavioural studies usually test the effect of repellents on mosquito attraction towards human odorants, rather than their direct repulsive effect on mosquitoes. Third, the mosquito sensory neuron responses towards repellents are often not directly examined.
Mosquitoes containing gene drive systems are being developed as complementary tools to prevent transmission of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. As with any new tool, decision makers and other stakeholders will need to balance risks (safety) and benefits (efficacy) when considering the rationale for testing and deploying gene drive-modified mosquito products. Developers will benefit from standards for judging whether an investigational gene drive product meets acceptability criteria for advancing to field trials.
Kerteszia is a neotropical subgenus of Anopheles composed of 12 species. The species in this subgenus are strongly associated with humid forests rich in epiphytic bromeliads. Forest fragmentation and anthropogenic changes can therefore have a negative impact on the abundance and survival of these mosquito species. Within this subgenus, four species are considered primary vectors of malaria: An. cruzii, An. bellator, An. homunculus and An. neivai. Malaria cases associated with Kerteszia species are often referred to as bromeliad malaria, a type of malaria reported to be endemic in the coastal rainforest of the neotropical region since the end of the nineteenth century.