By: Professor Kevin J. Baird, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford

Title: Neglect of Malariology in Malaria Control -- A Brief History on the Importance of Anopheline Biology in Malariology and Its Future in Control and Elimination.

 

Kevin J. Baird is Professor of Malariology in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford and for the past ten years he has directed the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit at the Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology in Jakarta, Indonesia. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Microbiology and a Master's degree in Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in Medical Parasitology from Tulane University at New Orleans, USA. Kevin served 22 years on active duty in the US Navy Medical Service Corps as a malaria specialist. His entire career has been focused on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria, especially that caused by Plasmodium vivax.

 

Abstract

In 1897 Sir Ronald Ross discovered anopheline mosquitoes as the carriers of malaria and defined modern malariology in combating human malaria. In the ensuing decades malariology achieved extraordinary advances in the methodology of malaria control, principally by attacking the anopheline vectors with scientific evidence-informed strategies that proved >80% efficacious. The advent of industrialized malaria control by enormous quantities of DDT soon after World War II effectively eliminated the requirement for scientific expertise in combating malaria. Malaria control by commodities obliterated malariology in malaria control. Today, malaria control remains driven by commodities applied without expertise in malariology. This strategy and those commodities are inadequate to achieve declared malaria elimination goals. Expertise in malariology, in particular knowledge of anopheline vector bionomics and rational interventions against them will be required. Recent advances in understanding the mechanics of the intimate anopheline-plasmodial relationship offer enormous promise for delivery of tools of previously unimaginable efficacy in breaking malaria transmission.​