PROF. DATO’ DR. MOHD SOFIAN AZIRUN
Vectors of human and animal pathogens typically are complexes of evolutionarily and ecologically distinct cryptic species, for which accurate identification is an essential first step in the epidemiological understanding and control of arthropod-borne diseases. The vectors surveillance and evaluation of vector distribution associated with rainfall, relative humidity and temperature were conducted across the country. The abundance of vectors are correlated well meteorological factors. The vectors of dengue, Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus, and vectors of Japanese encephalitis, Culex vishnui and Cx. quinquefasciatus were found resistant towards various type of adulticides and larvicides. On the other hand, this study revealed that insect growth regulators provide promising results and can be used to control field population of mosquitoes. In addition, the vector of filariasis, black flies also exhibited resistant against various insecticides, except propoxur. The phylogenetics and systematics of the medically and veterinary important dipteran were studied in the present study using a multilocus approach (mitochondrial and nuclear markers). The results indicate the presence of cryptic species and extensive diversification in the studied taxa. Additionally, the team also synonymize the names of certain vectors based on morphological and molecular evidence. They also managed to provide significant insights into the evolution and adaptation of the Malaysian mosquitoes. This study has documented the first field-evolved instance of 1014F, G119S, A302S mutations (alteration of target sites) which confer to insecticide resistance in Malaysian mosquitoes (i.e., Aedes and Culex). The findings of this study could be utilized in the implementation of strategic measures in vector control programs in Malaysia.
As of June 2016, total of 55 ISI articles were published from this study (60% of the articles are Tier 1(Q1) journals) and a book by international publisher. This program have also signed 4 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 3 universities in Indonesia and 1 in Thailand.