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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 200-206

Use of cyclopoid copepods for control of Anopheles (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquito larvae to prevent re-emergence of malaria in Sri Lanka

1 Molecular Medicine Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, Sri Lanka
2 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, Sri Lanka
3 Plant and Environmental Sciences, National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
Dr Menaka Hapugoda
Molecular Medicine Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama–11010
Sri Lanka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.289393

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Background & objectives: Although malaria is eliminated from Sri Lanka, there is a possible risk of spread from infected persons coming from malaria endemic countries. The presence of major and potential vectors in several parts of the country along with drug resistance, necessitates the identification of effective and novel control methods. The present study focused on identifying effective biological control agents for anopheline larvae using carnivorous copepods under laboratory and field conditions to prevent re-introduction of malaria in the country. Methods: Three copepod species, namely Mesocyclops scrassus, Cyclops varicans and C. languides collected from different areas in the country were cultured by adding supplementary food, and their predatory efficacy was evaluated under laboratory and field conditions. Results: Significant variation (p <0.05) was observed in predation rates of studied copepod species. The species M. scrassus showed the highest predacious efficiency, and consumed the highest number of anopheline larvae under laboratory and field conditions. Further, M. scrassus had higher survival rate than C. varicans and C. languides. Interpretation & conclusion: The results of the study suggest that the predatory copepod M. scrassus can be used as a bio-control agent for the control of Anopheles mosquitoes to prevent re-emergence of malaria in the country. Additional research is suggested to identify naturally available copepod species and their predatory efficacy.

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