Mosquitoes are vectors of major diseases such as malaria, dengue, etc, which cannot be effectively controlled by conventional insecticide based strategies, although the use of insecticide treated bednets, which targets blood-seeking females, can be very successful in certain situations against malaria. In addition to the direct human cost, malaria hinders economic development and poses a serious threat for new areas.
The SIT technology, such as mass rearing, sterilization, releasing, field monitoring is not yet developed for malaria mosquitoes. However, the demand for the integration of SIT as a complementary tool against some of these species is growing. The SIT would complement other tactics such as larval control or insecticide treated bednets, since it target female reproduction, and sterile males would not be affected by bednets.
Preparations for a pilot test against Anopheles arabiensis in Northern State of Sudan are now under way. The elimination or suppression of this pest would improve prospects for development and expansion of agriculture and tourism to sites of historical interest. Other species of mosquito that transmit virus diseases are expanding their distribution and are posing a threat to many new regions, these include Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
A convenient assemblage of existing information on the suppression and/or eradication of Anopheles populations using the release of sterilized mosquitoes can be found at the Volume 8, supplement 2 of the Malaria Journal