BIONOMICS AND CONTROL OF RIFT VALLEY FEVER VIRUS VECTORS IN KENYA
Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Determine the animal and mosquito species that serve as the inter-epizootic maintenance hosts of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) virus.
2. Test candidate repellents for biting insects.
3. Test and evaluate efficacy of control treatments.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
1. Determine mosquito blood meal sources for blood-fed females collected during an outbreak (previously collected) and during an inter-epidemic period. Test collected mosquitoes for the presence of RVFV using RT-PCR. Determine mosquito succession from the onset of rain events leading to flooding until flooded areas are dry.
2. Evaluate the efficacy of a candidate repellent for use on humans in terms of how well it protects against insect bites and how well it would be received and actually used in an emergency distribution situation.
3. Evaluate the efficacy of chemical mosquito control that is applied prior to rain events.
This project is related to Objective 3 of the in-house project - Conceive and test new methods of managing vector and pest populations through the use of behavior-altering chemicals, including repellents, attractants, and inhibitors.
Funds for this project were only available to the project for the last half of the year but the research effort is progressing. Field collected mosquitoes from previous sampling are being identified. Specimens are being prepared for testing for the presence of virus and identification of the blood meal source. Field studies have been delayed due to low rain/drought conditions. Much of Sub-Saharan Africa and particularly North-eastern Kenya has experienced severe drought through much of this year. These conditions make it nearly impossible to collect ground pool mosquitoes which are the vectors of the Rift Valley fever. Climate conditions are being monitored using satellite data and ground observations for rainfall conditions to enhance the likelihood of successful field studies.
Progress was monitored through meetings, site visits, email communications, telephone calls and quarterly reports.