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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2012-05-11 21:09 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-05-11 21:09 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

General Information
MalariaSphere: A greenhouse-enclosed simulation of a natural Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) ecosystem in western Kenya
Bart GJ Knols, Basilio N Njiru, Evan M Mathenge , Wolfgang R Mukabana , John C Beier and Gerry F Killeen
Author’s contact information
Bart GJ Knols
Email: bknols@planet.n
  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

Background: The development and implementation of innovative vector control strategies for
malaria control in Africa requires in-depth ecological studies in contained semi-field environments.
This particularly applies to the development and release of genetically-engineered vectors that are
refractory to Plasmodium infection. Here we describe a modified greenhouse, designed to simulate
a natural Anopheles gambiae Giles ecosystem, and the first successful trials to complete the life-cycle
of this mosquito vector therein.

Methods: We constructed a local house, planted crops and created breeding sites to simulate the
natural ecosystem of this vector in a screen-walled greenhouse, exposed to ambient climate
conditions, in western Kenya. Using three different starting points for release (blood-fed females,
virgin females and males, or eggs), we allowed subsequent stages of the life-cycle to proceed under
close observation until one cycle was completed.

Results: Completion of the life-cycle was observed in all three trials, indicating that the major lifehistory behaviours (mating, sugar feeding, oviposition and host seeking) occurred successfully.
Conclusion: The system described can be used to study the behavioural ecology of laboratoryreared and wild mosquitoes, and lends itself to contained studies on the stability of transgenes,
fitness effects and phenotypic characteristics of genetically-engineered disease vectors. The
extension of this approach, to enable continuous maintenance of successive and overlapping insect
generations, should be prioritised. Semi-field systems represent a promising means to significantly
enhance our understanding of the behavioural and evolutionary ecology of African malaria vectors
and our ability to develop and evaluate innovative control strategies. With regard to geneticallymodified mosquitoes, development of such systems is an essential prerequisite to full field releases.
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”
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)
Publisher and its location
Biomed Central
© 2002 Knols et al
11 page PDF
Malaria Journal
Keywords and any other relevant information
Citation: Malaria Journal 2002, 1:19