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01.12.2012 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Malaria Journal 1/2012

Exploiting the behaviour of wild malaria vectors to achieve high infection with fungal biocontrol agents

Malaria Journal > Ausgabe 1/2012
Ladslaus L Mnyone, Issa N Lyimo, Dickson W Lwetoijera, Monica W Mpingwa, Nuru Nchimbi, Penelope A Hancock, Tanya L Russell, Matthew J Kirby, Willem Takken, Constantianus JM Koenraadt
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1475-2875-11-87) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

All authors have no conflicts of interest to declare and all have actively contributed to this study and review.

Authors' contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: LLM, INL, MJK, WT. Performed the experiments: LLM, MWM, NN, INL, DWL. Analysed the data: LLM, CJMK, INL. Performed the modelling: PAH. Wrote the paper: LLM, CJMK, WT, TLR. Reviewed the paper: CJMK, MJK, WT. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Control of mosquitoes that transmit malaria has been the mainstay in the fight against the disease, but alternative methods are required in view of emerging insecticide resistance. Entomopathogenic fungi are candidate alternatives, but to date, few trials have translated the use of these agents to field-based evaluations of their actual impact on mosquito survival and malaria risk. Mineral oil-formulations of the entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana were applied using five different techniques that each exploited the behaviour of malaria mosquitoes when entering, host-seeking or resting in experimental huts in a malaria endemic area of rural Tanzania.


Survival of mosquitoes was reduced by 39-57% relative to controls after forcing upward house-entry of mosquitoes through fungus treated baffles attached to the eaves or after application of fungus-treated surfaces around an occupied bed net (bed net strip design). Moreover, 68 to 76% of the treatment mosquitoes showed fungal growth and thus had sufficient contact with fungus treated surfaces. A population dynamic model of malaria-mosquito interactions shows that these infection rates reduce malaria transmission by 75-80% due to the effect of fungal infection on adult mortality alone. The model also demonstrated that even if a high proportion of the mosquitoes exhibits outdoor biting behaviour, malaria transmission was still significantly reduced.


Entomopathogenic fungi strongly affect mosquito survival and have a high predicted impact on malaria transmission. These entomopathogens represent a viable alternative for malaria control, especially if they are used as part of an integrated vector management strategy.
Additional file 1: Explanation of the methods developed by Hancock et al. (2009) to model adult mosquito survival and evaluate the impact of entomopathogenic fungi on mosquito mortality and malaria transmission. (DOCX 35 KB)
Additional file 2: Explanation of assumptions in relation to the model that assesses the effect of outdoor feeding on the efficacy of indoor-based fungal applications on EIR. (DOC 26 KB)
Additional file 9: Daily EIR as a function of the fungal biopesticide coverage. Line labels show the proportion of the mosquito population that is exophilic. (DOCX 234 KB)
Authors’ original file for figure 1
Authors’ original file for figure 2
Authors’ original file for figure 3
Authors’ original file for figure 4
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