Our Team

Mercy Opiyo

Mercy Opiyo

Predoctoral fellow Malaria Elimination, Malaria
Mercy Opiyo is currently a Medical Entomologist at Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and based in Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM), in southern Mozambique. She is also a visiting researcher at Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), Tanzania. Since 2015, she has been studying gaps in malaria mosquito control tools and designing new techniques to improve malaria mosquito surveillance and control to accelerate efforts toward elimination.

She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Biology and Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM-UK) she obtained in 2014, and a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology & Botany with Information Technology from Maseno University, Kenya (2010). She is currently finalizing her PhD in Translational Medicine at the University of Barcelona, Spain, and her work focuses on improving the impact of vector control to aid malaria elimination.

She has other interests in studying residual malaria vectors, designing, and evaluating traditional vector control tools and housing improvement for malaria control to improve the wellbeing of the marginalized societies.

Prior to joining malaria mosquito World in 2015 (since 2011 to 2014), she studied ecology of tsetse flies both in western Kenya (working with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, ICIPE) and Northern Uganda (working with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, LSTM). This work formed the basis of her Master’s degree in 2014.

She was awarded a Masters Training Wellcome Trust Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine (2012-2014). In 2014, she was awarded David Smith Memorial Prize in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Masters in Biology and Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors Programme, Liverpool UK.

She has field experience working on malaria mosquitoes and tsetse flies in different African countries (Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique). She is also an active member and an advocate for Women in Vector Control Initiative (WVCI), under Pan Africa Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA), an initiative aimed at supporting women to fight and eliminate barriers hindering their career growth.

Lines of research

  • Malaria Elimination
  • Malaria vector control tools (old, current and new tools) for malaria prevention
  • New techniques for monitoring insecticide resistance and surveillance for malaria mosquitoes.
  • Protective gaps in vector control tools to improve impact.

Main publications

Mercy A. Opiyo, and Krijn P. Paaijmans (2020): We spray and walk away: Wall modifications decrease the impact of indoor residual spray campaigns through reductions in post-spray coverage. Malaria Journal. Doi: 10.1186/s12936-020-3102-6.

Mercy A. Opiyo, Gabriel L. Hamer, Dickson W. Lwetoijera, Silas Majambere, Fredros O. Okumu (2016). Using stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to mark wild populations of Anopheles and Aedes mosquitoes in south-eastern Tanzania. PloS One 11(7): e0159067. doi10.1371/journal.pone.0159067.

Mercy A. Opiyo, Halfan S. Ngowo, Monica Mpingwa, Nuru Nchimbi, Nancy S. Matowo, Salum A. Mapua, Silas Majambere, Fredros O. Okumu (2017). Sub-lethal aquatic doses of the insect growth hormone mimic, pyriproxyfen, increase pyrethroid resistance in malaria mosquitoes. Accepted for publication in PloS One journal.

Lucas J. Cunningham, Jessica K. Lingley, Iñaki Tirados, Johan Esterhuizen, Mercy Opiyo, Clement T. N. Mangwiro, Mike J. Lehane and Stephen J. Torr (2020). Evidence of the absence of Human African Trypanosomiasis in northern Uganda: analyses of cattle, pigs and tsetse flies for the presence of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007737.

Doreen J. Siria, Elis P. A. Batista, Mercy A. Opiyo, Elizangela F. Melo, Robert D. Sumaye, Halfan S. Ngowo, and Fredros O. Okumu (2018). Evaluation of a novel polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)-based membrane for blood-feeding of malaria and dengue fever vectors in the laboratory.  Parasit and Vectors. DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-2823-7.