Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20055235
Parassitologia 2008 Dec;50(3-4):255-65
This paper addresses the theories and debates concerning the influence of environment on vectors and species variation. In particular, it focuses on theories about how climate and domesticated animals affected vectors that transmitted sleeping sickness and malaria. Emile Roubaud (1882-1962), a Pasteurian entomologist, worked on the adaptation and variation of Glossina fly races in order to elaborate environmental interventions for sleeping sickness campaigns in Africa. He then developed the theory concerning Glossina flies’ biting preferences for livestock, and the implications of such preferences for human protection against sleeping sickness transmission. Subsequently, he extended this theory about insect biting preferences to malaria in Europe. He thus used one disease model, the sleeping sickness complex, and extended it to another, the malaria complex. He subsequently became interested into zoophilic races of Anopheles maculipennis and advocated the hypothesis that the zoophilic Anophelines’ maxillary index was a decisive feature in malaria transmission, for it could help preventing humans from the bite of the Anopheles vector. The paper also analyzes how these theories were received and debated at the time of their publication in scientific journals and proceedings.