Determinants of host feeding success by Anopheles farauti

Russell, Tanya L., Beebe, Nigel W., Bugoro, Hugo, Apairamo, Allan, Cooper, Robert D., Collins, Frank H., Lobo, Neil F., and Burkot, Thomas R. (2016) Determinants of host feeding success by Anopheles farauti. Malaria Journal, 15. 152. pp. 1-9.

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Background: The proportion of blood meals that mosquitoes take from a host species is a function of the interplay of extrinsic (abundance and location of potential hosts) and intrinsic (innate preference) factors. A mark-release-recapture experiment addressed whether host preference in a population of Anopheles farauti was uniform or if there were anthropophilic and zoophilic subpopulations. The corresponding fitness associated with selecting different hosts for blood meals was compared by measuring fecundity.

Methods: The attractiveness of humans for blood meals by An. farauti in the Solomon Islands was compared to pigs using tent traps. Host fidelity was assessed by mark-release-recapture experiments in which different colour dusts were linked to the host to which the mosquito was first attracted. Outdoor resting An. farauti were captured on barrier screens and the human blood index (HBI) as well as the feeding index were calculated. The fecundity of individual An. farauti after feeding on either humans or pigs was assessed from blood-fed mosquitoes held in individual oviposition chambers.

Results: Anopheles farauti were more attracted to humans than pigs at a ratio of 1.31:1.00. The mark-release-recapture experiment found evidence for An. farauti being a single population regarding host preference. The HBI of outdoor resting An. farauti was 0.93 and the feeding index was 1.29. Anopheles farauti that fed on a human host laid more eggs but had a longer oviposition time compared to An. farauti that had blood fed on a pig.

Conclusions: One of the strongest drivers for host species preference was the relative abundance of the different host species. Here, An. farauti have a slight preference for humans over pigs as blood meal sources. However, the limited availability of alternative hosts relative to humans in the Solomon Islands ensures a very high proportion of blood meals are obtained from humans, and thus, the transmission potential of malaria by An. farauti is high.

Item ID: 43462
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1475-2875
Keywords: host fidelity, mark-release-recapture, human blood index (HBI), barrier screens, outdoor resting, fecundity, An. farauti, Solomon Islands
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© 2016 Russell et al.

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Funders: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health for the International Center of Excellence in Malaria Research (NIH-ICEMR) Southwest Pacific
Projects and Grants: BMGF Grant No. 45114, NIAID U19AI08986
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Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2016 03:59
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310913 Invertebrate biology @ 50%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3207 Medical microbiology > 320704 Medical parasitology @ 25%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified @ 25%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 100%
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