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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 141  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 525-536

Biology & control of Anopheles culicifacies Giles 1901

1 Centre for Rural Development & Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India
2 National Institute of Malaria Research (Field Station) (ICMR), Guwahati, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
V P Sharma
Centre for Rural Development and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi 110 016
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.159509

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Malaria epidemiology is complex due to multiplicity of disease vectors, sibling species complex and variations in bionomical characteristics, vast varied terrain, various ecological determinants. There are six major mosquito vector taxa in India, viz. Anopheles culicifacies, An. fluviatilis, An. stephensi, An. minimus, An. dirus and An. sundaicus. Among these, An. culicifacies is widely distributed and considered the most important vector throughout the plains and forests of India for generating bulk of malaria cases (>60% annually). Major malaria epidemics are caused by An. culicifaices. It is also the vector of tribal malaria except parts of Odisha and Northeastern States of India. An. culicifacies has been the cause of perennial malaria transmission in forests, and over the years penetrated the deforested areas of Northeast. An. culicifacies participates in malaria transmission either alone or along with An. stephensi or An. fluviatilis. The National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) spends about 80 per cent malaria control budget annually in the control of An. culicifacies, yet it remains one of the most formidable challenges in India. With recent advances in molecular biology there has been a significant added knowledge in understanding the biology, ecology, genetics and response to interventions, requiring stratification for cost-effective and sustainable malaria control. Research leading to newer interventions that are evidence-based, community oriented and sustainable would be useful in tackling the emerging challenges in malaria control. Current priority areas of research should include in-depth vector biology and control in problem pockets, preparation of malaria-risk maps for focused and selective interventions, monitoring insecticide resistance, cross-border initiative and data sharing, and coordinated control efforts for achieving transmission reduction, and control of drug-resistant malaria. The present review on An. culicifacies provides updated information on vector biology and control outlining thrust areas of research.

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