Production of fungal spores for control of malaria mosquitoes
05 / 2006 - 05 / 2010
Introduction: Malaria is a deadly disease killing over 2 million people each year. Malaria parasites are transferred from human to human by malaria mosquitoes. Currently chemical insecticides are employed as a method for malaria mosquito control, but there is increasing resistance in mosquitoes against those insecticides. A promising alternative is the in-house application of spores of entomopathogenic fungi such as Metarhizium anisopliae to control mosquitoes and decrease the human-to-human transfer rate of malaria. For country-wide application a cheap, large scale production method is needed. For this we make use of solid state fermentation (SSF) as fungi usually are easier to grow and form better quality spores (conidia) in SSF. Aim: The aim of this project is to develop a cheap, large scale production system for production of conidia of M. anisopliae. The first stage is the identification of a suitable substrate and fermenter type; thereafter the focus will be on the maximization of the productivity through better understanding of solid state fermentation. Research: Based on small scale experiments with a number of substrates in Petri dishes and in aeration tubes we decided to use hemp impregnated with a rich nutrient solution as the substrate for SSF of M. anisopliae (Figure 1). It is feasible to use such defined substrates as a cost estimate indicated that substrate amounted to less than 10% of the total production cost.