Mating competitiveness of sterile genetic sexing strain males (GAMA) under laboratory and semi-field conditions: Steps towards the use of the Sterile Insect Technique to control the major malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis in South Africa

G. Munhenga, B. D. Brooke, J. R. L. Gilles, K. Slabbert, A. Kemp, L. C. Dandalo, O. R. Wood, L. N. Lobb, D. Govender, M. Renke and L. L. Koekemoer,  Parasites and Vectors,  9:122. 2016.

Anopheles arabiensis Patton is primarily responsible for malaria transmission in South Africa after successful suppression of other major vector species using indoor spraying of residual insecticides. Control of An. arabiensis using current insecticide based approaches is proving difficult owing to the development of insecticide resistance, and variable feeding and resting behaviours. The use of the sterile insect technique as an area-wide integrated pest management system to supplement the control of An. arabiensis was proposed for South Africa and is currently under investigation. The success of this technique is dependent on the ability of laboratory-reared sterile males to compete with wild males for mates. As part of the research and development of the SIT technique for use against An. arabiensis in South Africa, radio-sensitivity and mating competitiveness of a local An. arabiensis sexing strain were assessed.

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