Many infectious diseases are transmitted via an obligatory insect vector host for the successful completion of the pathogen’s life cycle. Managing such vector-borne diseases effectively involves dealing with a triad of players – the human host, the pathogen, as well as the vector. Mosquitoes are one such vector. We seek to use evidence-based understanding of the behaviour, biology, and ecology of mosquitoes to develop better, more specific, and ecologically responsible means of controlling mosquito vectors.
Vertical Lead: Sonia Sen
Mosquitoes are vectors for several disease pathogens. During their life cycle, mosquitoes perform complex behavioral tasks in which they have to escape from predators, feed, mate, and lay eggs. Plant-based nectar is the first meal for mosquitoes, where they avoid unrewarding and poisonous plants and drink from nutritious ones. Once mature, female mosquitoes have to find a suitable host for blood-feeding to obtain the necessary nutrition for their egg development. In this program, we aim to utilize traditional knowledge from ancient civilizations to find better plant-based repellents and attractants. In addition, we also study mosquito’s olfactory behavior towards designing better and targeted traps and repellents.