The bionomics of the malaria vector Anopheles farauti in Northern Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands: issues for successful vector control

Bugoro, Hugo, Hii, Jeffery L., Butafa, Charles, Iro'ofa, Charlie, Apairamo, Allen, Cooper, Robert D., Chen, Cheng-Chen, and Russell, Tanya L. (2014) The bionomics of the malaria vector Anopheles farauti in Northern Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands: issues for successful vector control. Malaria Journal, 13 (56). pp. 1-7.

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Background: The north coast of Guadalcanal has some of the most intense malaria transmission in the Solomon Islands. And, there is a push for intensified vector control in Guadalcanal, to improve the livelihood of residents and to minimize the number of cases, which are regularly exported to the rest of the country. Therefore, the bionomics of the target vector, Anopheles farauti, was profiled in 2007-08; which was after 20 years of limited surveillance during which time treated bed nets (ITNs) were distributed in the area.

Methods: In three villages on northern Guadalcanal, blood-seeking female mosquitoes were caught using hourly human landing catches by four collectors, two working indoors and two outdoors, from 18.00-06.00 for at least two nights per month from July 2007 to June 2008. The mosquitoes were counted, identified using morphological and molecular markers and dissected to determine parity.

Results: Seasonality in vector densities was similar in the three villages, with a peak at the end of the drier months (October to December) and a trough at the end of the wetter months (March to May). There was some variability in endophagy (indoor biting) and nocturnal biting (activity during sleeping hours) both spatially and temporally across the longitudinal dataset. The general biting pattern was consistent throughout all sample collections, with the majority of biting occurring outdoors (64%) and outside of sleeping hours (65%). Peak biting was 19.00-20.00. The proportion parous across each village ranged between 0.54-0.58. Parity showed little seasonal trend despite fluctuations in vector densities over the year.

Conclusion: The early, outdoor biting behaviour of An. farauti documented 20 years previously on north Guadalcanal was still exhibited. It is possible that bed net use may have maintained this biting profile though this could not be determined unequivocally. The longevity of these populations has not changed despite long-term ITN use. This early, outdoor biting behaviour led to the failure of the eradication programme and is likely responsible for the continued transmission in Guadalcanal following the introduction of ITNs. Other vector control strategies which do not rely on the vector entering houses are needed if elimination or intensified control is to be achieved.

Item ID: 31421
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1475-2875
Keywords: Solomon Islands, parity, endophagy, biting profile, Anopheles farauti
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© 2014 Bugoro et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funders: Global Fund (GF)
Projects and Grants: GF grant MWP-507-G05-M
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Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2014 04:27
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 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 > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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