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Entomopathogenic fungi for mosquito control: A review

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Author(s): Ernst-Jan Scholte | Bart G.J. Knols | Robert A. Samson | Willem Takken

Journal: Journal of Insect Science
ISSN 1536-2442

Volume: 4;
Start page: 19;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: Culicidae | insect-pathogenic fungi | Lagenidium | Coelomomyces | Culicinomyces | Hyphomycetes | biocontrol

ABSTRACT
Fungal diseases in insects are common and widespread and can decimate their populations in spectacular epizootics. Virtually all insect orders are susceptible to fungal diseases, including Dipterans. Fungal pathogens such as Lagenidium, Coelomomyces and Culicinomyces are known to affect mosquito populations, and have been studied extensively. There are, however, many other fungi that infect and kill mosquitoes at the larval and/or adult stage. The discovery, in 1977, of the selective mosquito-pathogenic bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner israelensis (Bti) curtailed widespread interest in the search for other suitable biological control agents. In recent years interest in mosquito-killing fungi is reviving, mainly due to continuous and increasing levels of insecticide resistance and increasing global risk of mosquito-borne diseases. This review presents an update of published data on mosquito-pathogenic fungi and mosquito-pathogen interactions, covering 13 different fungal genera. Notwithstanding the potential of many fungi as mosquito control agents, only a handful have been commercialized and are marketed for use in abatement programs. We argue that entomopathogenic fungi, both new and existing ones with renewed/improved efficacies may contribute to an expansion of the limited arsenal of effective mosquito control tools, and that they may contribute in a significant and sustainable manner to the control of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and filariasis.
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