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Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina

versión impresa ISSN 0373-5680versión On-line ISSN 1851-7471


VREYSEN, Marc J.B.. Prospects for area-wide integrated control of tsetse flies (Diptera:Glossinidae) and trypanosomosis in sub-Saharan Africa. Rev. Soc. Entomol. Argent. [online]. 2006, vol.65, n.1-2, pp.1-21. ISSN 0373-5680.

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa are among the least developed in the world and hunger and poverty remains widespread in most of the rural communities. Reducing hunger and chronic under nourishment through the introduction of productive livestock as a source of traction and manure for crop production, transport, milk and meat is deemed to be a fundamental first step towards better rural development. The presence of the tsetse fly in one third of the African continent and the disease trypanosomosis it transmits is considered the major barrier to the development of productive livestock. Despite the yearly administration of 35 million doses of trypanocidal drugs (at US$ 1 per dose), African farmers lose 3 million cattle every year to the disease and annual direct economic losses are estimated at US$ 600 to 1200 million. Tsetse flies mainly affect the rural poor and are rightfully considered 'a root cause of poverty ' in Africa . The most desirable way of containing the disease trypanosomosis is undoubtedly the elimination of entire populations of the vector from delimited geographical areas using an integration of various control tactics, i.e. an areawide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) approach. Efficient methods to suppress or even eliminate tsetse populations have been available for the last 50 years and are mostly based on the use of insecticides or entail devices that attract and kill. Nevertheless, despite gigantic efforts in the past century, there are only a few examples where the elimination of tsetse flies has proven to be sustainable, e.g. the elimination of Glossina pallidipes Austen from South Africa in the 1950 's using mainly aerial spraying of residual insecticides or the creation of a zone free of Glossina austeni Newstead on Unguja Island of Zanzibar (1994-1997) through the integration of various control tactics including the release of sterile insects. The decentralisation of the tsetse control offices resulting in a shift from large scale eradication approaches to localised tsetse control efforts by the local farmer communities, combined with the growing economic crises and political instability in many African countries has most likely contributed to the decline of most tsetse control efforts in the last decades. It is obvious that the sustained removal of the tsetse fly over large geographical areas would result in enormous benefits for the rural farmer community. Tsetse population genetic studies and data derived from satellite remote sensing are providing more and more convincing evidence that tsetse fly populations are not distributed in a continuous belt (at least in East Africa), but in large fragmented pockets. These tsetse 'islands ' (e.g. the Southern Rift Valley in Ethiopia, KwaZulu Natal in South Africa-Mozambique and the Niayes area in West Senegal) offer excellent opportunities for the creation of sustainable tsetse-free zones using an AW-IPM approach.

Palabras clave : Poverty; Hunger; Tsetse-free zones; Sterile insect technique; Sequential aerosol technique; Vector control.

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