Theme: Vector control and surveillance

The control of vector-borne diseases is heavily dependent on the development of new intervention strategies and reliable surveillance methods for insect vectors. Whilst highly successful surveillance and control methods have been developed for some insect vectors (e.g. African malaria vectors), their continued effectiveness is being undermined in some settings by changes in mosquito behaviour and physiological susceptibility to insecticides.

In partnership with institutes in disease endemic countries (Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania; AvecNet EU consortium), we are conducting research to develop new tools for trapping and controlling insect vectors which cannot be effectively targeted with existing methods. This includes the development of novel trapping methods to sample malaria mosquitoes which feed and rest outside houses, and improved, lower risk alternatives to the current gold standard measures for estimating human exposure rates.

We are also collaborating on the development of new technologies for rapid, high throughput assessment of insect vector age and species using Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy of the insects. Furthermore, we are also developing novel chemical compounds to control mosquito larvae.

Study organisms:

Malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae and An. arabiensis) and dengue mosquito (Aedes aegypti), tsetse flies (Glossina pallidipes)