To spray or target mosquitoes another way: focused entomological intelligence guides the implementation of indoor residual spraying in southern Mozambique

Celso Alafo, Helena Martí-Soler, Mara Máquina, Arlindo Malheia, Ayesha S. Aswat, Lizette L. Koekemoer, James Colborn, Neil F. Lobo, Allison Tatarsky, Yasmin A. Williams, Dulcisária Marrenjo, Nelson Cuamba, Regina Rabinovich, Pedro Alonso, Pedro Aide, Francisco Saúte, Krijn P. Paaijmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: To eliminate malaria in southern Mozambique, the National Malaria Control Programme and its partners are scaling up indoor residual spraying (IRS) activities in two provinces, Gaza and Inhambane. An entomological surveillance planning tool (ESPT) was used to answer the programmatic question of whether IRS would be effective in target geographies, given limited information on local vector bionomics. Methods: Entomological intelligence was collected in six sentinel sites at the end of the rainy season (April–May 2018) and the beginning of the dry season (June–July 2018). The primary objective was to provide an ‘entomological snapshot’ by collecting question-based, timely and high-quality data within one single week in each location. Host-seeking behaviour (both indoors and outdoors) was monitored by human-baited tent traps. Indoor resting behaviour was quantified by pyrethrum spray catches and window exit traps. Results: Five different species or species groups were identified: Anopheles funestus sensu lato (s.l.) (66.0%), Anopheles gambiae s.l. (14.0%), Anopheles pharoensis (1.4%), Anopheles tenebrosus (14.1%) and Anopheles ziemanni (4.5%). Anopheles funestus sensu stricto (s.s.) was the major vector among its sibling species, and 1.9% were positive for Plasmodium falciparum infections. Anopheles arabiensis was the most abundant vector species within the An. gambiae complex, but none tested positive for P. falciparum infections. Some An. tenebrosus were positive for P. falciparum (1.3%). When evaluating behaviours that impact IRS efficacy, i.e. endophily, the known primary vector An. funestus s.s., was found to rest indoors—demonstrating at least part of its population will be impacted by the intervention if insecticides are selected to which this vector is susceptible. However, other vector species, including An. gambiae s.l., An. tenebrosus, An. pharoensis and An. ziemanni, showed exophilic and exophagic behaviours in several of the districts surveilled. Conclusion: The targeted approach to entomological surveillance was successful in collecting question-based entomological intelligence to inform decision-making about the use of IRS in specific districts. Endophilic An. funestus s.s. was documented as being the most prevalent and primary malaria vector suggesting that IRS can reduce malaria transmission, but the presence of other vector species both indoors and outdoors suggests that alternative vector control interventions that target these gaps in protection may increase the impact of vector control in southern Mozambique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number215
JournalMalaria journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Anopheles surveillance
  • Entomological indicators
  • Implementation science
  • Malaria elimination
  • Vector control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'To spray or target mosquitoes another way: focused entomological intelligence guides the implementation of indoor residual spraying in southern Mozambique'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this