Vector genomic surveillance
MalariaGEN's mosquito genomic surveillance programme - also known as the Vector Observatory - is a network of studies researching genetic variation in Anopheles mosquito populations, the species complex responsible for transmitting malaria. This has created the world’s largest reference resource of genetic variation and insecticide resistance in the Anopheles species.
Why we need genomic surveillance of Anopheles species
Insecticide-treated bednets play an important role in controlling the spread of malaria, particularly in Africa where the majority of malaria deaths occur. However, Anopheles mosquito populations are adapting and developing resistance to the insecticides used in bednets, and this is undermining malaria control efforts. If we are to eliminate malaria, it is vital that we understand which mosquito populations are transmitting the disease and how their populations are changing. This will help extend the lifespan of current insecticides, accelerate the development of new ones, and potentially introduce new tools to prevent malaria transmission.
An open genetic data resource on vector species
Genomic surveillance of vector species supports malaria elimination efforts through building an open data resource. This provides a reference point against which population changes and genetic variations associated with insecticide resistance can be benchmarked and monitored.
Why work with us
In 2014 the Ag1000G project, also known as Ag3, released its first major data set. Since then this international collaboration has evolved to include more partners across Africa and Asia and the latest data release includes whole-genome sequencing of over 2,500 mosquitoes. Our data release policies vary between projects, but are all designed to be equitable and appropriate, and to acknowledge the contributions of the researchers that conducted the original scientific study and generated the data. To date we have:
- Established an international consortium to study natural genetic variation in Anopheles mosquitoes
- Sequenced hundreds of wild-caught mosquitoes from more than 13 African countries
- Released data on more than 40 million genetic differences (single nucleotide polymorphisms)
- These data are being used to advance our understanding of insecticide resistance