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Durham University

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Publication details for Prof Steve Lindsay

Mbare, O., Lindsay, S.W. & Fillinger, U. (2014). Pyriproxyfen for mosquito control:female sterilization or horizontal transfer to ovipsoition substrates by Anopheles gambaie sensu stricto and Culex quinquefasciatus. Parasites & Vectors 7(6): 280.

Author(s) from Durham


The use of gravid mosquitoes as vehicles to auto-disseminate larvicides was recently demonstrated for the transfer of pyriproxyfen (PPF) by container-breeding Aedes mosquitoes and presents an appealing idea to explore for other disease vectors. The success of this approach depends on the female’s behaviour, the time of exposure and the amount of PPF that can be carried by an individual. We explore the effect of PPF exposure at seven time points around blood feeding on individual Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto and Culex quinquefasciatus fecundity and ability to transfer in laboratory assays.

Mosquitoes were exposed to 2.6 mg PPF per m2 at 48, 24 and 0.5 hours before and after a blood meal and on the day of egg-laying. The proportion of exposed females (N = 80-100) laying eggs, the number of eggs laid and hatched was studied. Transfer of PPF to oviposition cups was assessed by introducing 10 late instar insectary-reared An. gambiae s.s. larvae into all the cups and monitored for adult emergence inhibition.

Exposure to PPF between 24 hours before and after a blood meal had significant sterilizing effects: females of both species were 6 times less likely (Odds ratio (OR) 0.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.10-0.26) to lay eggs than unexposed females. Of the few eggs laid, the odds of an egg hatching was reduced 17 times (OR 0.06, 95% CI 0.04-0.08) in Anopheles but only 1.2 times (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.73-0.93) in Culex. Adult emergence inhibition from larvae introduced in the oviposition cups was observed only from cups in which eggs were laid. When females were exposed to PPF close to egg laying they transferred enough PPF to reduce emergence by 65-71% (95% CI 62-74%).

PPF exposure within a day before and after blood feeding affects egg-development in An. gambiae s.s. and Cx. quinquefasciatus and presents a promising opportunity for integrated control of vectors and nuisance mosquitoes. However, sterilized females are unlikely to visit an oviposition site and therefore do not transfer lethal concentrations of PPF to aquatic habitats. This suggests that for successful auto-dissemination the optimum contamination time is close to oviposition.