Establishment of a self-propagating population of the African malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis under semi-field conditions

Malaria Journal
Kija Ng'habiHeather M Ferguson

Abstract

The successful control of insect disease vectors relies on a thorough understanding of their ecology and behaviour. However, knowledge of the ecology of many human disease vectors lags behind that of agricultural pests. This is partially due to the paucity of experimental tools for investigating their ecology under natural conditions without risk of exposure to disease. Assessment of vector life-history and demographic traits under natural conditions has also been hindered by the inherent difficulty of sampling these seasonally and temporally varying populations with the limited range of currently available tools. Consequently much of our knowledge of vector biology comes from studies of laboratory colonies, which may not accurately represent the genetic and behavioural diversity of natural populations. Contained semi-field systems (SFS) have been proposed as more appropriate tools for the study of vector ecology. SFS are relatively large, netting-enclosed, mesocosms in which vectors can fly freely, feed on natural plant and vertebrate host sources, and access realistic resting and oviposition sites. A self-replicating population of the malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis was established within a large field cage (21 × 9.1 × 7....Continue Reading

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