Control of malaria vectors by the auto-dissemination of insecticides
Long lasting Insecticide treated nets (LLINs) and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) have contributed significantly to reduction of malaria burden over the past decade. However, for elimination of this disease, complementary vector control tools are continuously needed to speed up this process. We believe that mosquitoes themselves could be used to pick up small doses of insecticides and transfer these to their own breeding habitats, and this way, we can stop further proliferation of mosquito populations. This process is called Auto-dissemination. The main goal of the project is to demonstrate utility of auto-dissemination of insecticides for reducing abundance of malaria vectors. The experiments are conducted inside semi-field systems (SFS), designed to mimic natural mosquito ecosystems. The candidate insecticide is Pyriproxyfen (PPF), a juvenile hormone analogue that inhibits normal growth in mosquito life stages, but also sterilizes adult mosquitoes. If delivered effectively to the malaria vectors breeding habitats, most mature juvenile mosquito stages will not become adults, and thus the density of mosquitoes will be reduced, consequently reducing malaria transmission. Our model mosquito is Anopheles arabiensis, a common vector in many residual malaria transmission settings in Africa.