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Trends Parasitol. 2015 Mar;31(3):95-9. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2015 Jan 15.

Know your foe: lessons from the analysis of tsetse fly behaviour.

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Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK; Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK. Electronic address:
Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham ME4 4TB, UK; South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa. Electronic address:


The emergence of new vector-borne diseases requires new methods of vector control. These diseases are often zoonoses associated with wilderness areas, and established methods of vector control used in domestic settings (e.g., indoor-residual spraying, insecticide-treated bednets) are therefore inappropriate. Similar difficulties are also emerging with the control of 'old' vector-borne diseases such as malaria. Understanding the host-finding behaviour of vectors assists the development and application of control methods and aids the understanding of epidemiology. Some general lessons are illustrated by reference to a century of research on the host-finding behaviour of tsetse flies which transmit trypanosomes causing human and animal trypanosomiases, including Rhodesian sleeping sickness, a zoonosis associated with wilderness areas of sub-Saharan Africa.


Glossina; Trypanosoma; animal African trypanosomiasis; human African trypanosomiasis; sleeping sickness; tsetse flies; vector

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