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Professor Marta Maia

Professor Marta Maia

Podcast interview

Vector control to fight malaria

Malaria is mostly controlled through the use of bed nets and insecticides, but progress has stalled and we need new vector control interventions. Mosquitoes can be affected by endectocides carried in the blood of hosts. Clinical trials will determine whether ivermectin administered to human or cattle can be used to impact malaria transmission.

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Marta Maia

Associate Professor

I am a medical entomologist permanently based at the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Programme in Kilifi, Kenya. My primary focus lies in exploring the bionomics, control, and surveillance of malaria vectors.

Originally trained in veterinary medicine, I obtained my PhD from the Free University of Berlin, evaluating insecticide-treated fences to protect cattle from disease vectors. Following this, I pursued a post-doctoral fellowship at LSHTM, where I researched spatial repellents for malaria vector control, based at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania. Later, I joined the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) as a scientific collaborator, dedicated to the development and testing of innovative malaria vector control methodologies, including plant-based mosquito repellents, spatial repellents, attractive-toxic sugar baits, and mosquito attractants.

I am interested in vector control approaches targeting outdoor-biting mosquitoes, aiming to mitigate residual malaria transmission. Particularly, I am interested in exploring the role of endectocides for vector control and reduction of malaria transmission.

Additionally, I am committed to developing novel vector surveillance tools capable of offering efficient and cost-effective alternatives to conventional molecular methods. Currently, I am working on furthering MALDI-TOF MS for analyzing multiple entomological traits including species, blood source, infection and age of Anopheline mosquitoes.