Contemporary research on genetic control of disease-transmitting insects knows two kinds of scientists: those that work in the laboratory and those known as `field people'. Over the last decade, both groups seem to have developed differing research priorities, addressed fundamentally different aspects within the overall discipline of infectious-disease control, and worse, have developed a scientific `language' that is no longer understood by the `other' party. This gap widens every day, between the North and the South, between ecologists and molecular biologists, geneticists and behaviourists, etc. The need to develop a common research agenda that bridges this gap has been identified as a top priority by all parties involved. Only then shall the goal of developing appropriate genetic-control strategies for vectors of disease become reality.
This book is the reflection of a workshop, held in Nairobi (Kenya) in July 2004, that addressed the above issues. It brought together a good representation of both the molecular and ecological research disciplines and, for the first time, included a significant number of researchers from disease-endemic countries. The research agenda presented here will serve the research and science-policy communities alike, and guide sponsoring organizations with the selection of priority areas for research funding.