Biological tools for control of larval stages of malaria vectors – a review

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The two main interventions presently being deployed for control of malaria vectors, that is, long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) involve the use of chemical insecticides and target adult mosquitoes. Meanwhile, the potential of larval control is increasingly being acknowledged for the reduction of insecticide-resistant and/or exophagic Anopheles populations. Larval control has proven to be cost-effective and ideal for localities where mosquito-breeding sites are well defined and approachable. Utilising biological control tools to control anopheline larvae can lower the problem of resistance development, a common feature of chemical control. Fortunately, there are many options of biological larval control tools. Besides their direct impact on mortality, the effects of these tools can reach beyond the larval stage. Anopheline adults that develop from larvae exposed to biological control tools, such as entomopathogenic fungi, show reduced longevity, fecundity and susceptibility to Plasmodium infections. Combining two or more larval control tools can increase their efficacy against anopheline larvae. However, despite the identification of larval control potential in the laboratory, and in few cases in the field, many potential biological control tools have not been utilised to their fullest extent. This review provides an overview of the existing and potential biological larval control options for malaria vectors and discusses the advantages and requirements to develop them for malaria vector control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-1023
JournalBiocontrol Science and Technology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • tolypocladium-cylindrosporum deuteromycotina
  • fungus beauveria-bassiana
  • insecticide-treated nets
  • mosquito anopheles-quadrimaculatus
  • thuringiensis var. israelensis
  • molecular-genetic manipulation
  • low-temperature storage
  • fish menidia-beryllina
  • lagenid


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