The impact of host species and vector control measures on the fitness of African malaria vectors

Lyimo, Issa N., Haydon, Daniel T., Russell, Tanya L., Mbina, Kasian F., Daraja, Ally A., Mbehela, Edgar M., Reeve, Richard, and Ferguson, Heather M. (2013) The impact of host species and vector control measures on the fitness of African malaria vectors. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 280 (1754). 20122823. pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

Many malaria vector mosquitoes in Africa have an extreme preference for feeding on humans. This specialization allows them to sustain much higher levels of transmission than elsewhere, but there is little understanding of the evolutionary forces that drive this behaviour. In Tanzania, we used a semi-field system to test whether the well-documented preferences of the vectors, Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (s.s.) for cattle and humans, respectively, are predicted by the fitness they obtain from host-seeking on these species relative to other available hosts. Mosquito fitness was contrasted, when humans were fully exposed and when they were protected by a typical bednet. The fitness of both vectors varied between host species. The predicted relationship between host preference and fitness was confirmed in An. arabiensis, but not in An. gambiae s.s., whose fitness was similar on humans and other mammals. Use of typical, imperfect bednets generated only minor reductions in An. gambiae s.s. feeding success and fitness on humans, but was predicted to generate a significant reduction in the lifetime reproductive success of An. arabiensis on humans relative to cows. This supports the hypothesis that such human-protective measures could additionally benefit malaria control by increasing selection for zoophily in vectors.

Item ID: 30676
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: behaviour, ecology, evolution, host specialization, selection, mosquito vectors, malaria, bednets, Tanzania
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2014 01:32
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920599 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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