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Information Resource
Record information and status
Record ID
103478
Status
Published
Date of creation
2012-05-11 18:58 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-05-11 18:58 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

General Information
Title
Establishment of a large semi-field system for experimental study of African malaria vector ecology and control in Tanzania
Author
Heather M Ferguson, Kija R Ng'habi, Thomas Walder, Demetrius Kadungula, Sarah J Moore, Issa Lyimo, Tanya L Russell, Honorathy Urassa, Hassan Mshinda, Gerry F Killeen and Bart GJ Knols
Author’s contact information
Heather M Ferguson
Email: H.Ferguson@bio.gla.ac.uk
Language(s)
  • English
Publication date
2008
Subject
Summary, abstract or table of contents
Abstract:

Background
Medical entomologists increasingly recognize that the ability to make inferences between laboratory experiments of vector biology and epidemiological trends observed in the field is hindered by a conceptual and methodological gap occurring between these approaches which prevents hypothesis-driven empirical research from being conducted on relatively large and environmentally realistic scales. The development of Semi-Field Systems (SFS) has been proposed as the best mechanism for bridging this gap. Semi-field systems are defined as enclosed environments, ideally situated within the natural ecosystem of a target disease vector and exposed to ambient environmental conditions, in which all features necessary for its life cycle completion are present. Although the value of SFS as a research tool for malaria vector biology is gaining recognition, only a few such facilities exist worldwide and are relatively small in size (< 100 m2).

Methods
The establishment of a 625 m2 state-of-the-art SFS for large-scale experimentation on anopheline mosquito ecology and control within a rural area of southern Tanzania, where malaria transmission intensities are amongst the highest ever recorded, is described.

Results
A greenhouse frame with walls of mosquito netting and a polyethylene roof was mounted on a raised concrete platform at the Ifakara Health Institute. The interior of the SFS was divided into four separate work areas that have been set up for a variety of research activities including mass-rearing for African malaria vectors under natural conditions, high throughput evaluation of novel mosquito control and trapping techniques, short-term assays of host-seeking behaviour and olfaction, and longer-term experimental investigation of anopheline population dynamics and gene flow within a contained environment that simulates a local village domestic setting.

Conclusion
The SFS at Ifakara was completed and ready for use in under two years. Preliminary observations indicate that realistic and repeatable observations of anopheline behaviour are obtainable within the SFS, and that habitat and climatic features representative of field conditions can be simulated within it. As work begins in the SFS in Ifakara and others around the world, the major opportunities and challenges to the successful application of this tool for malaria vector research and control are discussed.
Thematic areas
  • Scientific and technical issues
    • Risk assessment
Background material to the “Guidance on risk assessment of living modified organisms”
Is this document is recommend as background material for the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms”
Yes
Section(s) of the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms” this background material is relevant
  • 5. Risk assessment of living modified mosquitoes species that act as vectors of human and animal diseases
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
Identifier
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-7-158
Publisher and its location
BioMed Central
Rights
© 2008 Ferguson et al
Format
25 page PDF
Source
Malaria Journal
Keywords and any other relevant information
Citation: Malaria Journal 2008, 7:158