Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
University of California
Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Anopheles arabiensis ecology

Ecological and genetic determinants of malaria transmitting behaviors in Anopheles arabiensis in Tanzania. (specific 5 years NIH funding PI Gregory Lanzaro)

This is a five year project in collaboration with Gregory Lanzaro (Director of Vector Genetic Laboratory – and his staff Yoosook Lee and Clare Marsden) and Heather Ferguson and Daniel Haydon (University of Glasgow) and Gerry Killeen (Ifikara Health Institute, Tanzania) and Dr. Eleazar Eskin, (University of California, Los Angeles).

For details of specific aims and overall description of the project I recommend you consult the website given above. This is an interesting and vital research project that integrates ecology and genetics to investigate how the major malaria vector, Anopheles arabiensis is responding to use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs) in the Kilombero Valley in Tanzania. A comprehensive  ITN program is currently being implemented in Tanzania and we are tracking how these mosquitoes respond with respect to changes in who, where and when these mosquitoes blood feed and where they rest. The genetic basis for blood feeding propensities and resting site selection are being investigated at the same time. This has important implications for control purposes because if the mosquitoes respond by feeding earlier in the evening and more outdoors on people to avoid exposure to indoor ITNs then the ITN will gradually loose efficacy as a control strategy. It is possible that the mosquitoes will shift from feeding on people to domestic and wild animals in which case the ITNs will have continued desired effects of reducing contact between people and mosquitoes and reduce malaria incidence.

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