Charles Mbogo talks about the largest database of malaria mosquito carriers and its role for future control and malaria elimination programmes in Africa. This inventory was recently published and peer reviewed on Wellcome Open Research as a research article.This blog was first published in the Wellcome Trust Open Blog page
Inventories entailing distributions of Anopheles mosquitoes go back to the turn of the last century. These have been widely used by malaria control programmes throughout history to design better malaria vector control, specifically during the Global Malaria Eradication Programme (GMEP) era in the 1950s and 1960s where vector distribution maps at sub-national levels were used as important preliminary tools to design malaria eradication.
The development and maintenance of regional vector databases is necessary to ensure the systematic and exhaustive collection, interpretation and use of available entomological information.
The goal of any regional vector database is to increase interaction between researchers and control experts, and encourage the collection and consolidation of key data to better understand the role of vector species in the malaria transmission ecology.
We have created an exhaustive geo-coded inventory of Anophelines in Africa, from over 2,200 published and unpublished reports dating as far back as 1900.
This resulted in over 13,000 unique survey locations, with information on dominant, secondary vectors of malaria together with their sibling species and other anophelines not implicated in malaria transmission.
Records of secondary vectors remain sparse in Africa and most information is derived from surveys undertaken over 50 years ago. As indoor based interventions scale up, secondary vectors are now emerging as more actively involved in residual transmission owing to their largely ecological and behavioural responses.
This is the most comprehensive database of Anophelines in Africa; however, it is not static, and requires updating using information sourced by others, including new data and notably unpublished data from entomologists working across Africa today.
Through open access sharing of these data, we hope that national governments and researchers will continue to build their repositories of Anopheline locations to track changing ecological niches spatially and temporally. This is something, at a regional level, that is being promoted by Pan-African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA) who may host future updated versions of the Africa wide database