Dr Jonathan Darbro – Research Officer
Scientists from the Mosquito Control Laboratory work with government and industry representatives, primarily through the Mosquito and Arbovirus Research Committee (MARC) Inc., a consortium of 20 local government and industry members in Queensland and Victoria. As a MARC Scientist, Jon’s role is to conduct high-quality scientific research that will result in better mosquito control and the prevention of human diseases. This is achieved through improved ecological understanding and operational management of mosquito control issues.
With the global increase in mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria, coupled with the risk of insecticide resistance, research into alternative methods of mosquito control is critical. Jon has done extensive work assessing strains of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana for mosquito control in the laboratory and in the field, evaluating such effects as mortality, blood-feeding reduction and fecundity reduction. Jon is also a member of an international research group that is attempting to utilise Wolbachia, an endosymbiotic bacteria that lives in mosquitoes and blocks transmission of many viruses, as a novel method for dengue control in Australia, Vietnam and other countries. Finally, Jon is investigating the effect of temperature change on the ability of Ae. aegypti to transmit dengue virus. Jon’s work has been in collaboration with Monash University, CSIRO, The University of Queensland, James Cook University and Penn State University.
Recent major achievements
- Selected a promising Australian fungal candidate for biological control of Aedes aegypti and determined that fungal infection reduces survival, host-seeking and total reproductive output of Aedes aegypti.
- Developed a standard operating procedure for production and release of Aedes aegypti carrying the dengue virus-blocking endosymbiont Wolbachia in Vietnam.