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Does divergence between the M and S form of An. gambiae pose problems to malaria control?

Yes - this will seriously affect the efficiency of malaria control
7% (1 vote)
No - current control methods don't make use of this knowledge anyway
93% (13 votes)
Total votes: 14


Bart G.J. Knols's picture
Submitted by Bart G.J. Knols on
Numerous websites report that the fight against malaria is becoming more difficult now that research reported in Science magazine shows that the M and S molecular forms are two distinct taxonomic entities that deserve species status. See for instance: Looking at the prime ways of interfering with malaria transmission, through insecticide-treated bednets and indoor residual spraying, does it really matter if M and S are two distinct species? Will we now radically change control policy now that we have this information?

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on
You (again) hit the right nail on the head, Bart. Similar as some years ago a research group won a large research grant with the title "Accurate species identification - a prerequisite for vector control". No pun intended, they produced a lot of useful scientific work, but the title was misleading. It is desirable for monitoring and could be important for future vector control methods, but it is not a prequisite for any of the existing methods that work by reducing the contact between humans and (any) mosquitoes that like to bite them. The great majority of field entomologists actually engaged in malaria mosquito control still have no access to the techniques needed for accurate identification and, fortunately, hardly need it. It might even be postulated that if they all had to be re-trained to routinely apply PCR and/or electrophoresis, the actual control effort would suffer. Ron Marchand Nha Trang, Vietnam