New methods and strategies
This section is grouped by disease.
Tsetse fly control methods and strategies
Tsetse fly traps and targets are being improved through studies in eight African countries (Angola, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan and the United Republic of Tanzania) for the control of six species of tsetse flies (Glossina species) (Glossina palpalis palpalis, G. p. gambiensis, G. fuscipes quanzensis, G. swynnertoni, G. f. fuscipes, and G. tachinoides) that carry African trypanosomiasis parasites. The best materials for traps and targets based on the type of fabric and tsetse fly species-specific trapping effectiveness, and the best landing devices, are being identified.
In addition, a decision support system called HAT-trick with data from four African countries (Malawi, the United Republic of Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso) is being refined and uploaded onto the www.tsetse.org website for free download. The project has generated four publications so far.
Glossina genome data
The Glossina genome sequencing, assembly and annotation activities are leading to the publication of the genome. This data will be used by the research community for the development of DNA-based diagnostic tools for characterizing vectors, the identification of potential targets for insecticides, the development of genetic control methods, and control methods targeting the inhibition of blood feeding or interfering with the development of parasites.
Work is underway to develop and evaluate methods for preventing reinfestation by triatomine bugs in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil. This work is informing the public health measures required to solve the current problems of bug control, particularly in the Gran Chaco region. The results on Triatoma population genetics have been published in two papers.
Vector control measures
Strategies are being developed and evaluated for complementary or alternative Chagas disease vector control measures in Argentina and Bolivia. This includes assessing triatomine bugs' resistance to insecticides and evaluating the impact of netting materials.
Genetically modified mosquitoes
How best to test for safety and efficacy and deploy genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes is a development and evaluation project of significant scope. Taking advantage of the open field releases conducted in Cayman Islands, Malaysia and Brazil between 2009 and 2011, the investigators of a TDR-funded project are establishing best-practice guidance in 7 modules on importation, deployment and monitoring of genetically modified mosquitoes designed for the control of malaria and dengue. In addition, a guidance document for testing GM mosquitoes for efficacy and safety and addressing regulatory and ethical, social and cultural issues is being finalized as the result of a TDR and U.S. Foundation of the National Institutes of Health partnership.
Combined targeted breeding containers and insecticide-treated materials interventions
How best to manage mosquito breeding containers and use insecticide-treated materials for dengue vector control is the focus of this research being done in Thailand, Viet Nam, Guatemala and Brazil.
Integrated malaria vector control packages
To support national control activities and identify improvements, ongoing malaria control programmes in Cameroon, Kenya and Mali have been evaluated by local investigators on the effectiveness of their vector control approaches. Improvements and corrective measures have been recommended to the national malaria control programmes and donors for implementation and evaluation of the vector control strategies based on country-specific data.
A TDR network is using field and laboratory research to monitor resistance to insecticides in malaria vectors, characterize resistance mechanisms, determine its impact on vector control, and provide guidance to countries for resistance management. The network consists of seven partners comprised of one European (United Kingdom) and six African institutes (Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Sudan and South Africa). The network has identified 20 sentinel sites (four in each country) in five African countries for biannual monitoring with five insecticides (permethrin, deltamethrin, fenitrothion, DDT and bendiocarb). The project also contributes to building research capacity in the countries.
Holistic research reducing vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and Zika
More than 30 research projects are currently being funded, with about 100 students getting their Masters and PhD degrees as part of this work. One of our major projects has been studying how to help vulnerable African communities increase their resilience to diseases like malaria and sleeping sickness.