Given my academic background in schistosomiasis, which is transmitted by fresh-water snails, I suppose it is not that surprising that I have a particular interest in vectors, and in understanding how controlling the mosquitoes that transmit malaria impacts the transmission and prevalence of the disease.
Many of the most common and well-known malaria prevention strategies are in fact at their heart vector control efforts. For example, long-lasting insecticide treated bednets control mosquitoes by preventing them from accessing human hosts for a bloodmeal (and giving them a dose of insecticide for good measure!). However, I also firmly believe that other, explicit, vector control strategies will need to be integrated into malaria control programs, if we ever want to have a shot at eliminating malaria transmission, or perhaps even eradicating it entirely from some areas.
The articles gathered here look at several important issues related to vectors and their relationship with malaria transmission, including an exciting piece from Chris Clarkson at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine on his research, which uses genetic tools to identify vector species more accurately. Understanding the distribution, diversity, and prevalence of specific vectors is critical for gaining knowledge of transmission patterns, and subsequently establishing control regimes.
Thank you for visiting Malaria.com, and I hope you enjoy our second issue: