Three Decades of Malaria Vector Control in Sudan: The Plausible Role of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT)

A. Elaagip and A. Adedapo,  Genetically Modified and other Innovative Vector Control Technologies,  2021.

In Northern State, Sudan, a feasibility study for sterile insect technique (SIT) in an area-wide integrated pest management was established for the first time in an African country. The aim of the study was to see whether it is feasible, from a technical, an economical and a biological perspective, to use sterile male mosquitoes to control mosquito populations in designated areas in the African context. The project was focussed on Anopheles arabiensis, one of the major malaria vectors. Meteorological data, larval surveillance and population genetic studies were carried out on the disease vectors. The first phase of the study focussed on the development of an efficient sex-separation system, development of dose-sterility curves for the pupal and adult stages and testing of a range of doses in competition experiments to determine effective sterility dose. This stage was followed by a semi-field phase that monitored their swarming and mating behaviours, effectiveness of irradiated males in competitive experiments with wild males and insemination rates. Information regarding irradiation and transportation of irradiated males were also obtained during the study. Unfortunately, the SIT study was terminated in 2017 before starting field release of irradiated males. In spite of the challenges, such investment need not be totally abandoned as valuable experience has been gained and capacity built, which are of high value to malaria control program in Sudan.

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