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Adult vector control, mosquito ecology and malaria transmission

Brady, O.J.; Godfray, H.C.J.; Tatem, A.J.; Gething, P.W.; Cohen, J.M.; McKenzie, F.E.; Perkins, T.A.; Reiner, R.C.; Tusting, L.S.; Scott, T.W.; Lindsay, S.W.; Hay, S.I.; Smith, D.L.

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O.J. Brady

H.C.J. Godfray

A.J. Tatem

P.W. Gething

J.M. Cohen

F.E. McKenzie

T.A. Perkins

R.C. Reiner

L.S. Tusting

T.W. Scott

S.I. Hay

D.L. Smith


Background: Standard advice regarding vector control is to prefer interventions that reduce the lifespan of adult mosquitoes. The basis for this advice is a decades-old sensitivity analysis of ‘vectorial capacity’, a concept relevant for most malaria transmission models and based solely on adult mosquito population dynamics. Recent advances in micro-simulation models offer an opportunity to expand the theory of vectorial capacity to include both adult and juvenile mosquito stages in the model. Methods: In this study we revisit arguments about transmission and its sensitivity to mosquito bionomic parameters using an elasticity analysis of developed formulations of vectorial capacity. Results: We show that reducing adult survival has effects on both adult and juvenile population size, which are significant for transmission and not accounted for in traditional formulations of vectorial capacity. The elasticity of these effects is dependent on various mosquito population parameters, which we explore. Overall, control is most sensitive to methods that affect adult mosquito mortality rates, followed by blood feeding frequency, human blood feeding habit, and lastly, to adult mosquito population density. Conclusions: These results emphasise more strongly than ever the sensitivity of transmission to adult mosquito mortality, but also suggest the high potential of combinations of interventions including larval source management. This must be done with caution, however, as policy requires a more careful consideration of costs, operational difficulties and policy goals in relation to baseline transmission.


Brady, O., Godfray, H., Tatem, A., Gething, P., Cohen, J., McKenzie, F., …Smith, D. (2015). Adult vector control, mosquito ecology and malaria transmission. International Health, 7(2), 121-129.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 22, 2015
Publication Date Mar 1, 2015
Deposit Date May 26, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 9, 2015
Journal International Health
Print ISSN 1876-3413
Electronic ISSN 1876-3405
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 2
Pages 121-129
Keywords Larval control, Malaria control policy, Micro-simulation models, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Vectorial capacity.


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Copyright Statement
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene<br /> This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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