Population suppression gene drive has been proposed as a strategy for malaria vector control. A CRISPR-Cas9-based transgene homing at the doublesex locus (dsxFCRISPRh) has recently been shown to increase rapidly in frequency in, and suppress, caged laboratory populations of the malaria mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae. Here, problem formulation, an initial step in environmental risk assessment (ERA), was performed for simulated field releases of the dsxFCRISPRh transgene in West Africa.
To strengthen the fight against malaria, it is imperative to identify weaknesses and possible solutions in order to improve programmes implementation. This study reports experiences gained from collaboration between decision-makers and researchers from a World Bank project (Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases in the Sahel, SM/NTD). The objectives of this paper were to identify bottlenecks in malaria programme implementation as well as related research questions they bring up.
Since the late 1990s, malaria control programmes have relied extensively on mass bednet distribution and indoor residual spraying. Both interventions use pesticides and target mosquitoes coming indoors either to feed or to rest. Unfortunately, these intensified vector control campaigns have resulted in mosquito populations with high levels of resistance to most of the chemical compounds used against them and which are increasingly exophagic and exophillic, hence difficult to monitor indoors. Consequently, there is an urgent need for novel tools to sample outdoor anopheline populations for monitoring interventions and disease surveillance programmes.
Vector population control using insecticides is a key element of current strategies to prevent malaria transmission in Africa. The introduction of effective insecticides, such as the organophosphate pirimiphos-methyl, is essential to overcome the recurrent emergence of resistance driven by the highly diverse Anopheles genomes. Here, we use a population genomic approach to investigate the basis of pirimiphos-methyl resistance in the major malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae and A. coluzzii. A combination of copy number variation and a single non-synonymous substitution in the acetylcholinesterase gene, Ace1, provides the key resistance diagnostic in an A. coluzzii population from Côte d'Ivoire that we used for sequence-based association mapping, with replication in other West African populations.
The sibling species of the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae (sensu stricto) and Anopheles coluzzii co-exist in many parts of West Africa and are thought to have recently diverged through a process of ecological speciation with gene flow. Divergent larval ecological adaptations, resulting in Genotype-by-Environment (G × E) interactions, have been proposed as important drivers of speciation in these species. In West Africa, An. coluzzii tends to be associated with permanent man-made larval habitats such as irrigated rice fields, which are typically more eutrophic and mineral and ammonia-rich than the temporary rain pools exploited by An. gambiae (s.s.)
Increased levels of insecticide resistance in major malaria vectors such as Anopheles funestus threaten the effectiveness of insecticide-based control programmes. Understanding the landscape features impacting the spread of resistance makers is necessary to design suitable resistance management strategies. Here, we examined the influence of the highest mountain in West Africa (Mount Cameroon; 4095 m elevation) on the spread of metabolic and target-site resistance alleles in An. funestus populations.
Understanding inequality in infectious disease burden requires clear and unbiased indicators. The Gini coefficient, conventionally used as a macroeconomic descriptor of inequality, is potentially useful to quantify epidemiological heterogeneity. With a potential range from 0 (all populations equal) to 1 (populations having maximal differences), this coefficient is used here to show the extent and persistence of inequality of malaria infection burden at a wide variety of population levels.
Indoor residual spraying (IRS) was applied in addition to the use of long-lasting insecticidal nets in the South West in Burkina Faso, where Anopheles gambiae s.l. the major malaria vector was resistant to pyrethroids. This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and residual life of bendiocarb (active ingredient) used for spraying on different wall surfaces (mud and cement).
Located in West Africa, Cabo Verde is an archipelago consisting of nine inhabited islands. Malaria has been endemic since the settlement of the islands during the sixteenth century and is poised to achieve malaria elimination in January 2021. The aim of this research is to characterize the trends in malaria cases from 2010 to 2019 in Cabo Verde as the country transitions from endemic transmission to elimination and prevention of reintroduction phases.
One of the promising current approaches to curb malaria lies in genetic vector control, the implementation of which will require an improved understanding of the movement of genetic constructs among mosquito populations. To predict potential gene flow from one area to another, it is important to begin to understand mosquito dynamics outside of the commonly-sampled village areas, and thus how genes may move between villages. This study assessed the presence and relative abundance of mosquitoes in a 6-km corridor between two villages in western Burkina Faso.