Source reduction of mosquito larval habitats has unexpected consequences on malaria transmission

Weidong Gu, James L. Regens, John C. Beier, Robert J. Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Reduction of aquatic habitats through environmental management mitigates malaria transmission not only by reducing emergence of host-seeking mosquitoes, but also by increasing the amount of time required for vectors to locate oviposition sites. However, the consequence of source reduction on mosquito oviposition has largely been neglected in evaluations of environment-management programs. Here, by theoretically examining the relationship between the time spent for oviposition and the availability of aquatic habitats, we show that prolonged oviposition cycles induced by source reduction account for a great deal of reductions in the basic reproductive rate of malaria, especially when aquatic habitats are scarce and the mosquito's flight ability is limited. Neglecting this mechanism may lead to substantial underestimation of the impact of source reduction of aquatic habitats on malaria transmission. Our findings suggest that the prolonged duration of the gonotrophic cycle might be one of the important mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of environment-management interventions for malaria control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17560-17563
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 14 2006


  • Anopheles
  • Environment management
  • Flight
  • Gonotrophic cycle
  • Oviposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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