Features » New directions in mosquito control

Ross Cuthbert   

  Vector cycle of mosquitoes


   Sterile male mosquitoes battle malaria

Diseases spread by mosquitoes, such as malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya, continue to kill hundreds of thousands of people each year, and infect millions more. As such, the development of new and innovative approaches to manage mosquito populations is critical.

Biological control using native predators can be an effective, environmentally-friendly approach to manage mosquito populations. Small or microscopic aquatic crustaceans called copepods have been identified as the most effective biological control agents of larval mosquitoes in their aquatic habitats, and have eliminated diseases from entire communities.

SAIAB's Freshwater Research team recently discovered a new species of calanoid copepod Subsequent research has shown that the predatory impact of this species on disease carrying mosquitoes is far greater than all other copepods which have previously been used in biocontrol strategies. Visiting PhD Research Fellow, Ross Cuthbert, from Queens University, Belfast, UK tells us more ...