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Title: Studies on Aedes polynesiensis introgression and ecology to facilitate lymphatic filariasis control
Author: Hapairai, Limb K. M.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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The mosquito Aedes polynesiensis, a member of the Aedes scutellaris complex, is the main vector in the South Pacific region of the Wuchereria bancrofti parasite, the causative agent of lymphatic filariasis (LF), and is also a major nuisance biter. Decades of Mass Drug treatment (MDA) have not been successful in elimination LF. Two non-vector species in the Ae. scutellaris complex were introgressed with Ae. polynesiensis to attempt to obtain lines that would produce cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) with wild populations and/or LF-refractoriness. Despite selection of progeny from Brugia-challenged, non-infective females at each backcross, no refractory line was acquired. However, three lines from crosses between aposymbiotic Ae. polynesiensis and Ae. riversi displayed CI and male mating competiveness suitable for the purpose of population suppression using the incompatible insect technique (IIT). A population study was conducted of potential release sites and the evaluation of monitoring tools for Ae. polynesiensis on Moorea and Tetiaroa, French Polynesia. There was no evidence of active migration between selected islets on the atoll of Tetiaroa, suggesting it is a suitable site for field releases of CI males. The BioGents Sentinel trap was shown to be an efficient and convenient trap suitable for Ae. polynesiensis monitoring. The effects of temperature and larval density on life-table parameters relevant to IIT were examined, including: larval survivorship, developmental time to pupation, male to female ratio, male pupae yield, male size and adult male survival. These findings were used to design and conduct a 14-week field experiment testing CI male strain against an isolated population, using optimized rearing conditions. Approximately 8000 males were released weekly on motu Onetahi, Tetiaroa atoll. Significant sterility was induced by Wolbachia in the targeted female population, supporting the development and scale-up of this approach toward Ae. polynesiensis nuisance and LF transmission reduction.
Supervisor: Sinkins, Steven P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Zoological sciences ; Disease (zoology) ; Ecology (zoology) ; Aedes polynesiensis ; lymphatic filariasis ; Wolbachia ; sterile insect technique