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RESEARCH: New study targets species carrying more malaria

Sept. 12, 2022
RESEARCH: New study targets species carrying more malaria
A snip from the journal which published the research findings. GRAPHIC | IFAKARA/KMC.

Researchers at Ifakara Health Institute are proposing a new approach for malaria vector control which targets the dominant mosquito species known to “carry more malaria.” The approach could be significant in understanding the ecology of dominant mosquitoes and targeting them with effective interventions to suppress malaria transmission.

The researchers report in their paper published in the Parasite Epidemiology and Control journal on August 3, 2022 that recent evidence has shown that funestus – an anopheles mosquito species - now mediating most of the ongoing malaria transmission in many countries in eastern and southern Africa.

“In rural south-eastern Tanzania, this species carries more than 85% of all malaria infections,” say the researchers in their paper published in the Parasite Epidemiology and Control journal on August 3, 2022.

Their recommendations were based on their recent which investigated the seasonal prevalence of plasmodium sporozoite infections in the two main malaria vector species, Anopheles funestus and Anopheles arabiensis.

Ifakara researchers, namely Salum Mapua, Emmanuel Hape, Japhet Kihonda, Hamis Bwanary, Khamis Kifungo, Masoud Kilalangongono, Emmanuel Kaindoa, Halfan Ngowo, and Fredros Okumu contributed to the publication whose study lasted 34 months – from January 2018 to November 2020.

The researchers investigated a total of 306,589 mosquitoes collected from two villages – reportedly with very high malaria prevalence estimates – namely Sululu and Igumbiro located in Kiombero and Ulanga districts. Both are located withing the Kilombero valley in south-eastern Tanzania.

Funding for this study was provide by the Wellcome Trust International Masters Fellowship in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene program, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The study was titled: “Persistently high proportions of plasmodium-infected Anopheles funestus mosquitoes in two villages in the Kilombero valley, South-Eastern Tanzania.”

>> Read the full publication report here: https://doi.org/10.1016/J.PAREPI.2022.E00264