Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Current Tools to Combat Malaria-with Special Focus on Plasmodium knowlesi: Day 3

MESA Correspondents bring you cutting-edge coverage from the Current Tools to Combat Malaria-with Special Focus on Plasmodium knowlesi workshop.

Day 3: 6th March 2019

Session 1. Control and intervention of malaria vectors - Ross-Macdonald model

Prof Dr Indra Vythilingam, one of the most renowned medical entomologists in Malaysia, shared her knowledge of the interventions to control malaria vectors in Southeast Asia using the Ross-Macdonald model. An understanding of the relationship between the vectors, their ecology and behaviour, the parasites, and their hosts is of paramount importance when developing and implementing vector control strategies. Accordingly, the aim of this lecture was to introduce the biological features of vector-borne infection, the basic concepts in relation to Anopheles and malaria, and discuss the control interventions in relation to P. knowlesi. To correlate malaria transmission, human biting rate, the proportion of blood meals taken on humans, the parous rate of mosquitoes and sporozoite rate are the important parameters to be incorporated in entomological surveillance. She explained that the vectorial capacity of the vectors has been observed to be higher in the forest and farms as compared to the villages.


Dr Vythilingam explaining the gonotrophic cycle of Anopheles mosquitoes in relation to their biting rate to the participants

Session 2. Practical: Mosquito identification

The Anopheles mosquito identification session was led by Dr Vythilingam and assisted by Dr Jonathan Liew and Dr Wong Meng Li. In the initial session, the participants were taught how to differentiate the sexes of mosquitoes and the basic characters to separate the genus Anopheles from other genera. The participants were then guided to identify the subgenera of the Anopheles (i.e., Anopheles and Celia), followed by several species-groups, including the A. leucosphyrus group, the important vectors of P. knowlesi.


Basic identification of mosquitoes prior to the identification of genera, subgenera, species-groups and species of Anopheles mosquitoes

Session 3. Practical: Mosquito mating and dissection

The participants were also trained by Dr Vythilingam, Dr Liew and Dr Wong on how to force-mate Anopheles mosquitoes, followed by lessons in the dissection of mosquitoes for examination of malaria oocytes and sporozoites in the midgut and salivary gland, respectively.


Malaria-infected Anopheles dirus to be dissected by the participants


Dr Wong (left) and Dr Liew (right) demonstrating the mosquito dissection technique to the participants

Session 4. Practical: Plasmodium knowlesi culture

To continue with the training in P. knowlesi culture, the participants were shown the culture medium replenishment technique.


Culture medium replenishment for P. knowlesi performed in a biosafety cabinet


This blog was written by Dr Lucas Low Van Lun (Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya) as part of the MESA Correspondents program. Editorial support has been provided by Dr Indra Vythilingam.

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University of Malaya (UM), Malaysia

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