Once a scientific paper is published online and you can download a pdf of it, this addictive and magnificent feeling gets on to you. This is the fruit of all the hard work: first to get the funding to undertake the research, then the hard work to actually perform all the research, then the hard work to write up the manuscript, then the submission, the reviews, the rebuttal, and eventually acceptance followed by proof reading and then publication. The route from thinking up research to publishing about it is long, tedious, and really hard work. But why don't we ever talk about this route? Why do we publish our papers but don't tell our peers more about how we got there? The fun parts, the sweat and tears, or even the fights? This week we published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS; attached below). And here's the story you don't know when you read the paper...
Vector control tools have contributed significantly to a reduction in malaria burden since 2000, primarily through insecticidal-treated bed nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying. In the face of increasing insecticide resistance in key malaria vector species, global progress in malaria control has stalled. Innovative tools, such as dual active ingredient (dual-AI) ITNs that are effective at killing insecticide-resistant mosquitoes have recently been introduced. However, large-scale uptake has been slow for several reasons, including higher costs and limited evidence on their incremental effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. The present report describes the design of several observational studies aimed to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of dual-AI ITNs, compared to standard pyrethroid-only ITNs, at reducing malaria transmission across a variety of transmission settings.
Molecular diagnostic tools have been incorporated in insecticide resistance monitoring programmes to identify underlying genetic basis of resistance and develop early warning systems of vector control failure. Identifying genetic markers of insecticide resistance is crucial in enhancing the ability to mitigate potential effects of resistance. The knockdown resistance (kdr) mutation associated with resistance to DDT and pyrethroids, the acetylcholinesterase-1 (ace-1R) mutation associated with resistance to organophosphates and carbamates and 2La chromosomal inversion associated with indoor resting behaviour, were investigated in the present study.
In rural Burkina Faso, the primary malaria vector Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) primarily feeds indoors at night. Identification of factors which influence mosquito house entry could lead to development of novel malaria vector control interventions. A study was therefore carried out to identify risk factors associated with house entry of An. gambiae s.l. in south-west Burkina Faso, an area of high insecticide resistance.
Determining the insecticide resistance status of malaria vectors, particularly to insecticides used on mosquito nets, is important but is limited to a relatively small number of locations. We describe a simple assay that enables this information to be obtained over a much wider area.
The decline in malaria across Africa has been largely attributed to vector control using long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs). However, this intervention has prompted widespread insecticide resistance (IR) and been associated with changes in mosquito behaviour that reduce their contact with LLINs. The relative importance and rate at which IR and behavioural adaptations emerge are poorly understood. We conducted surveillance of mosquito behaviour and IR at 12 sites in Burkina Faso to assess the magnitude and temporal dynamics of insecticide, biting and resting behaviours in vectors in the 2-year period following mass LLIN distribution. Insecticide resistance was present in all vector populations and increased rapidly over the study period. In contrast, no longitudinal shifts in LLIN-avoidance behaviours (earlier or outdoor biting and resting) were detected.
From 2004 to 2019, insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) have been the most effective tool for reducing malaria morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, however, the decline in malaria cases and deaths has stalled. Some suggest that this inertia is due to increasing resistance in malaria vectors to the pyrethroid insecticides used for treating ITNs.
The rapid expansion of insecticide resistance and outdoor malaria transmission are affecting the efficacy of current malaria control measures. In urban settings, where malaria transmission is focal and breeding habitats are few, fixed and findable, the addition of anti-larval control measures could be efficient for malaria vector control. But field evidences for this approach remains scarce.
Understanding the dynamics and mechanisms of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors is crucial for vector control activities. The present study investigates the level of insecticide resistance in Anopheles culicifacies and explores the role of two main mechanisms in conferring resistance target site insensitivity and metabolic resistance.
Plasmodium vivax is transmitted by members of the Anopheles Hyrcanus Group that includes six species in the Republic of Korea: Anopheles sinensis sensu stricto (s.s.), Anopheles pullus, Anopheles kleini, Anopheles belenrae, Anopheles lesteri, and Anopheles sineroides. Individual Anopheles species within the Hyrcanus Group demonstrate differences in their geographical distributions, vector competence and insecticide resistance, making it crucial for accurate species identification. Conventional species identification conducted using individual genotyping (or barcoding) based on species-specific molecular markers requires extensive time commitment and financial resources.