Watson, Swellengrebel and species sanitation: environmental and ecological aspects

Parassitologia. 1994 Aug;36(1-2):137-47.


Following the discovery of mosquito transmission of malaria, the theory and practice of malaria control by general and selective removal of specific vector populations resulted particularly from Malcolm Watson's empirical work in peninsular Malaysia, first in the urban and peri-urban areas of Klang and Port Swettenham and subsequently in the rural rubber plantations, and from the work of N.H. Swellengrebel in nearby Indonesia on the taxonomy, ecology and control of anophelines. They developed the concept of species sanitation: the selective modification of the environment to render a particular anopheline of no importance as a vector in a particular situation. The lack of progress along these lines in India at that time is contrasted with that in south-east Asia. The extension of species sanitation and related concepts to other geographical areas and to other vector-borne disease situations is outlined.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Ecology
  • Environment
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Indonesia
  • Malaria / history*
  • Malaria / prevention & control
  • Malaysia
  • Mosquito Control / history*

Personal name as subject

  • M Watson
  • N H Swellengrebel