Behavioral Research Blog

Does pesticide resistance make malaria mosquitoes “smarter”?

Posted by Olga Krips on Nov 19, 2015

In one of my previous blog posts, I wrote about the success of insecticide treated bed nets (ITNs) in preventing malaria. In the past five years, mortality from malaria has dropped with 60%, which is at least partly due to the widespread use of ITNs [1]. However, ITNs do not offer a 100% effective solution against malaria, primarily due to the fact that not everyone in malaria-affected areas has access to ITNs. But even if they did, malaria-spreading mosquitoes may still be able to bite their victims if the bed nets have holes. In addition, mosquitoes may develop resistance against the insecticides the bed nets are treated with.

By James D. Gathany (The Public Health Image Library , ID#444) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, Mosquito

A new approach in the battle against malaria

Posted by Olga Krips on Jun 18, 2015

Insecticide treated bed nets

Bed nets treated with insecticide (ITNs) greatly decrease malaria illness and mortality. ITNs can decrease infant mortality from all causes by more than 20% [1,2]. However, the development of pesticide resistance is a threat to the effectiveness of ITNs. [3].

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, Mosquito, wind tunnel

Smelly feet and heat – how malaria mosquitoes find their hosts

Posted by Olga Krips on Oct 15, 2013

Why is it that if there is a mosquito in my bedroom, usually it won’t bite me, but it does bite my partner? It seems that mosquitoes use human body odor to locate suitable hosts, and different people smell differently to mosquitoes.

However, it is not only body odor, but also body heat, CO2 from breathing and wind direction may also be important for the mosquitoes to find you. Furthermore, different mosquito species use different cues. For many mosquito species it is still not known exactly what they do to find their hosts.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, insect behavior, exploratory behavior, Track3D, tracking, Automating behavioral observations, Tracking insects, Animal 3D tracking, 3D movement analysis, Mosquito

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