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Advances in the genetic characterization of the malaria vector, Anopheles funestus, and implications for improved surveillance and control

Odero, Joel O., Nambunga, Ismail H., Wangrawa, Dimitri W., Badolo, Athanase, Weetman, David ORCID:, Koekemoer, Lizette L., Ferguson, Heather M., Okumu, Fredros O. and Baldini, Francesco (2023) 'Advances in the genetic characterization of the malaria vector, Anopheles funestus, and implications for improved surveillance and control'. Malaria Journal, Vol 22, Issue 1, e230.

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Anopheles mosquitoes present a major public health challenge in sub-Saharan Africa; notably, as vectors of malaria that kill over half a million people annually. In parts of the east and southern Africa region, one species in the Funestus group, Anopheles funestus, has established itself as an exceptionally dominant vector in some areas, it is responsible for more than 90% of all malaria transmission events. However, compared to other malaria vectors, the species is far less studied, partly due to difficulties in laboratory colonization and the unresolved aspects of its taxonomy and systematics. Control of An. funestus is also increasingly difficult because it has developed widespread resistance to public health insecticides. Fortunately, recent advances in molecular techniques are enabling greater insights into species identity, gene flow patterns, population structure, and the spread of resistance in mosquitoes. These advances and their potential applications are reviewed with a focus on four research themes relevant to the biology and control of An. funestus in Africa, namely: (i) the taxonomic characterization of different vector species within the Funestus group and their role in malaria transmission; (ii) insecticide resistance profile; (iii) population genetic diversity and gene flow, and (iv) applications of genetic technologies for surveillance and control. The research gaps and opportunities identified in this review will provide a basis for improving the surveillance and control of An. funestus and malaria transmission in Africa.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QU Biochemistry > Genetics > QU 470 Genetic structures
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 515 Anopheles
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2023 13:03
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2023 13:03


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