Successful malaria control and eventual elimination in the non-Amazonian region of Latin America requires effective control of Anopheles mosquitoes that serve as malaria vectors. Each country of this ICEMR network, Colombia, Guatemala, Panama, and Peru, has a National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) that features vector control. However, effectiveness is limited by insufficient information on species of Anopheles mosquitoes that serve as malaria vectors, uncertainties regarding the impact of anthropogenic environmental changes on the dynamics of malaria parasite transmission, limited effective tools for vector control, and incompletely developed integrated vector management (IVM) components of NMCPs. The goal of this project is to address major gaps in our understanding of the ecology, behavior, vector potential, and control of Anopheles malaria vectors to guide the development and implementation of more effective IVM strategies of NMCPs. Based on extensive preliminary data and experience of team members representing academic institutions and NMCPs in each country within this ICEMR network, priorities for research focus on key scientific questions that have a direct bearing on the future success of vector control operations. This project includes 3 specific aims: 1) investigate the ecology, behavior, and malaria parasite transmission potential of malaria vector species to identify key factors that would facilitate more effective targeted vector control, 2) determine how known and suspected malaria vector species from each country in the ICEMR network differ in their innate vector competence for Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax, and 3) assess the efficacy of current vector control operations of NMCPs and conduct multi-country field trials of new vector control products that may strengthen capacities of NMCPs to implement effective IVM strategies for vector control, In partnership with NMCPs, the ICEMR team will demonstrate the translational value of research outcomes for improving vector control in ecologically diverse areas o f t he non-Amazonian region through an iterative process of strengthening and evaluating IVM components of NMCPs.
Coordinated multi-country research on malaria vectors and their control will be conducted in four countries of the non-Amazonian region of Latin America. Through this project, the improvement of evidence-based integrated vector management practices would represent a significant new development in the fight against malaria in this region.
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