Research grant from The World Academy of Sciences award to PIIVeC fellow Evelyn Olanga
The research grant was awarded for her project “Evaluating the malaria transmission potential of Anopheles coustani and other minor anopheline species in Malawi.” Typical malaria vector control methods, such as long-lasting insecticidal bednets and indoor residual spraying, target the primary vectors of malaria – those that are most abundant and contribute the most to disease transmission. However, secondary vectors exist with different behavioural characteristics. These vectors can sustain transmission even with high coverage of vector control tools.
The primary vectors in Malawi are widely documented while secondary vectors remain unknown. Evelyn’s ongoing PIIVeC study has identified seven other anopheline species that have never been reported in the country. There is therefore a need to evaluate the transmission potential of other anopheline species in Malawi.
“The TWAS grant will allow me to estimate infectivity rates and blood meal sources of potential secondary vectors in Malawi,” said Evelyn. “These findings will increase our understanding of their role in malaria transmission and contribute to the design of targeted interventions to combat residual transmission.”