Oviposition cues as a tool for developing a new malaria control strategy
Sammanfattning: Anopheles gambiae sensu lato mosquitoes are among the dominant malaria vectors in sub-Saharan Africa. However, not much is known about the oviposition behaviour of these species necessary for the development of malaria vector control strategies. With the aim of investigating cues associated with selected oviposition sites, artificial oviposition sites- ponds (soil mixed with water) were set-up in an open field at Mbita, Western Kenya in 2012 and 2013. Ponds were allowed to be colonized by wild An. gambiae s.l.. The numbers of Anopheles early instar larvae were counted and used as a proxy for oviposition preference. Water samples were then analysed for physicochemical, bacterial and chemical profiles. The bacterial profiles were analysed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and the chemical profiles with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).The detection of possible oviposition cues from oviposition substrates requires sensitive analytical methods. Volatiles detection was improved seven times. The detection of bacteria deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) bands with DGGE was also improved to a minimum DNA concentration of 50 ng/µl.Results showed that ponds were colonized differently. Fresh ponds were preferred over slightly older ponds. Bacterial analysis revealed a low number of bacteria colony forming units (CFU) in preferred ponds. Some volatiles, including: 6,10-dimethyl-5,9-undecadien-2-one (geranylacetone) and 4-ethylbenzaldehyde, were associated with the oviposition preferred pond. In addition, low pH and high turbidity were associated with the ponds selected for oviposition.Finally, fungi isolated from the rhizomes of nut grass yielded a promising array of volatiles of which one is known to attract oviposition site seeking malaria mosquitoes. This finding opens the door for a cost effective and environmental friendly method of using fungi in an “attract and kill” strategy targeting malaria vectors.
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