A pre-intervention study of malaria vector abundance in Rio Muni, Equatorial Guinea: their role in malaria transmission and the incidence of insecticide resistance alleles.
Copyright © Ridl et al. 2008. This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
BACKGROUND: Following the success of the malaria control intervention on the island of Bioko, malaria control by the use of indoor residual spraying (IRS) and long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLITN) was extended to Rio Muni, on the mainland part of Equatorial Guinea. This manuscript reports on the malaria vectors present and the incidence of insecticide resistant alleles prior to the onset of the programme. METHODS: Anopheles mosquitoes were captured daily using window traps at 30 sentinel sites in Rio Muni, from December 2006 to July 2007. The mosquitoes were identified to species and their sporozoite rates, knockdown resistance (kdr) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) sensitivity measured, to define the role of vector species in malaria transmission and their potential susceptibility to insecticides. RESULTS: A total of 6,162 Anopheles mosquitoes were collected of which 4,808 were morphologically identified as Anopheles gambiae s.l., 120 Anopheles funestus, 1,069 Anopheles moucheti, and 165 Anopheles nili s.l.. Both M and S molecular forms of Anopheles gambiae s.s. and Anopheles melas were identified. Anopheles ovengensis and Anopheles carnevalei were the only two members of the An. nili group to be identified. Using the species-specific sporozoite rates and the average number of mosquitoes per night, the number of infective mosquitoes per trap per 100 nights for each species complex was calculated as a measure of transmission risk. Both kdr-w and kdr-e alleles were present in the S-form of An. gambiae s.s. (59% and 19% respectively) and at much lower frequencies in the M-form (9.7% and 1.8% respectively). The kdr-w and kdr-e alleles co-occurred in 103 S-form and 1 M-form specimens. No insensitive AChE was detected. CONCLUSION: Anopheles gambiae s.s, a member of the Anopheles gambiae complex was shown to be the major vector in Rio Muni with the other three groups playing a relatively minor role in transmission. The demonstration of a high frequency of kdr alleles in mosquito populations before the onset of a malaria control programme shows that continuous entomological surveillance including resistance monitoring will be of critical importance to ensure the chosen insecticide remains effective.
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