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March 3, 2015
Adult vector control, mosquito ecology and malaria transmission

Brady et al have published Adult vector control, mosquito ecology and malaria transmission in International Health, which revisits arguments about transmission and its sensitivity to mosquito bionomic parameters using an elasticity analysis of developed formulations of vectorial capacity.

Standard advice regarding vector control is to prefer interventions that reduce the lifespan of adult mosquitoes. The basis for this advice is a decades-old sensitivity analysis of ‘vectorial capacity', a concept relevant for most malaria transmission models and based solely on adult mosquito population dynamics. Recent advances in micro-simulation models offer an opportunity to expand the theory of vectorial capacity to include both adult and juvenile mosquito stages in the model.

The paper concludes that the results emphasise more strongly than ever the sensitivity of transmission to adult mosquito mortality, but also suggest the high potential of combinations of interventions including larval source management. This must be done with caution, however, as policy requires a more careful consideration of costs, operational difficulties and policy goals in relation to baseline transmission.