Keeping track of the enemy: Flight analyses of the host-seeking malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae s.s.

Promovendus dr. J (Jeroen) Spitzen
Promotor Willem W (Willem) Takken
prof.dr. M (Marcel) Dicke
Organisatie Wageningen University, Laboratory of Entomology

wo 23 mei 2018 11:00 tot 12:30

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen


Host-seeking malaria mosquitoes were studied by analysing their flight paths. The research demonstrates that automated tracking systems can strengthen behavioural-ecological studies on disease vectors, by providing detailed information on the approach behaviour of mosquitoes to different targets. Trap catches of female mosquitoes were enhanced by separation of the CO2 source from the source of human skin odour. Close-range deterrent effects of CO2 were overcome by the simultaneous presence of skin odours. The combination of odour with heat was crucial to induce landings of host-seeking mosquitoes. A semi-field study in Kenya revealed how house-entering mosquitoes approached openings near the roof area, and measured the effect on house-entry in relation to the presence of insecticide-treated bed nets inside a house. Insights in house-entry behaviour and mosquito responses to bed nets support the successful implementation of interventions to reduce malaria transmission. An integrated vector management approach is required to further develop existing control tools by adding and improving alternative intervention techniques.