Host attraction and biting behaviour of Anopheles mosquitoes in South Halmahera, Indonesia

St. Laurent, Brandyce, Burton, Timothy A., Zubaidah, Siti, Miller, Helen C., Asih, Puji B., Baharuddin, Amirullah, Kosasih, Sully, Shinta, Ms, Firman, Saya, Hawley, William A., Burkot, Thomas R., Syafruddin, Din, Sukowati, Supratman, Collins, Frank H., and Lobo, Neil F. (2017) Host attraction and biting behaviour of Anopheles mosquitoes in South Halmahera, Indonesia. Malaria Journal, 16. 310.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Background: Indonesia is home to a variety of malaria vectors whose specific bionomic traits remain largely uncharacterized. Species-specific behaviours, such as host feeding preferences, impact the dynamics of malaria transmission and the effectiveness of vector control interventions.

Methods: To examine species-specific host attraction and feeding behaviours, a Latin square design was used to compare Anopheles mosquitoes attracted to human, cow, and goat-baited tents. Anopheles mosquitoes were collected hourly from the inside walls of each baited tent. Species were morphologically and then molecularly identified using rDNA ITS2 sequences. The head and thorax of individual specimens were analysed for Plasmodium DNA using PCR. Bloodmeals were identified using a multiplex PCR.

Results: A total of 1024, 137, and 74 Anopheles were collected over 12 nights in cow, goat, and human-baited tents, respectively. The species were identified as Anopheles kochi, Anopheles farauti s.s., Anopheles hackeri, Anopheles hinesorum, Anopheles indefinitus, Anopheles punctulatus, Anopheles tessellatus, Anopheles vagus, and Anopheles vanus, many of which are known to transmit human malaria. Molecular analysis of blood meals revealed a high level of feeding on multiple host species in a single night. Anopheles kochi, An. indefinitus, and An. vanus were infected with Plasmodium vivax at rates comparable to primary malaria vectors.

Conclusions: The species distributions of Anopheles mosquitoes attracted to human, goat, and cow hosts were similar. Eight of nine sporozoite positive samples were captured with animal-baited traps, indicating that even predominantly zoophilic mosquitoes may be contributing to malaria transmission. Multiple host feeding and flexibility in blood feeding behaviour have important implications for malaria transmission, malaria control, and the effectiveness of intervention and monitoring methods, particularly those that target human-feeding vectors.

Item ID: 50478
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1475-2875
Keywords: Anopheles, Indonesia, malaria, biting behavior, host attraction, vector ecology
Additional Information:

© The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funders: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
Projects and Grants: BMGF Grant No. 45114
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 09:27
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420315 One health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1041
Last 12 Months: 5
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page