Female mosquitoes pass malaria parasites from person to person, when they feed on blood to help their eggs develop. There are many different species of mosquito, but only Anopheles mosquitoes carry malaria.
Malaria control interventions that target mosquitoes – for example insecticide-treated bednets – have played an important role in reducing malaria, particularly in Africa where the majority of malaria deaths occur. But mosquitoes are adapting by developing resistance to insecticide treatments, which threatens to undermine progress towards malaria elimination.
Understanding how mosquito populations are evolving is crucial to maximise the lifespan of available insecticides, and to support the deployment of new insecticides and other new tools for preventing malaria transmission.
What we've done
- Established an international consortium to study natural genetic variation in Anopheles mosquitoes
- Sequenced hundreds of wild-caught mosquitoes from more than 13 African countries
- Released data on more than 40 million genetic differences (single nucleotide polymorphisms)
- These data are being used to advance our understanding of insecticide resistance