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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.87  suppl.3 Rio de Janeiro  1992 

Molecular biological approaches to the study of vectors in relation to malaria control

J. M. Crampton1 

I. Comley1 

P. Eggleston1 

S. Hill2 

M. Hughes1 

T. Knapp1 

G. Lycett1 

R. Urwin1 

A. Warren1 

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Wolfson Unit of Molecular Genetics, Liverpool, UK

1Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Wolfson Unit of Molecular Genetics, Liverpool,


To a large extent, control of malaria vectors relies on the elimination of breeding sites and the application of chemical agents. There are increasing problems associated with the use of synthetic insecticides for vector control, including the evolution of resistance, the high cost of developing and registering new insecticides and an awareness of pollution from insecticide residues. These factors have stimulated interest in the application of molecular biology to the study of mosquito vectors of malaria; focussing primarily on two aspects. First, the improvement of existing control measures through the development of simplified DNA probe systems suitable for identification of vectors of malaria. The development of synthetic, non-radioactive DNA probes suitable for identification of species in the Anopheles gambiae complex is described with the aim of defining a simplified methodology wich is suitable for entomologist in the field. The second aspect to be considered is the development of completely novel strategies through the development of completely novel strategies through the genetic manipulation of insect vectors of malaria in order to alter their ability to transmit the disease. The major requirements for producing transgenic mosquitoes are outlined together with the progress wich has been made to date and discussed in relation to the prospects which this type of approach has for the future control of malaria.


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