Malaria vectors in a traditional dry zone village in Sri Lanka
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Amerasinghe, P. H.; Amerasinghe, F. P.; Konradsen, F.; Fonseka, K. T.; Wirtz, R. A. 1999. Malaria vectors in a traditional dry zone village in Sri Lanka. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 60(3):421-429.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/41337
Malaria transmission by anopheline mosquitoes was studied in a traditional tank-irrigation-based rice-producing village in the malaria-endemic low country dry zone of northcentral Sri Lanka during the period August 1994-February 1997. Adult mosquitoes were collected from human and bovid bait catches, bovid-baited trap huts, indoor catches, and pit traps. Mosquito head-thoraces were tested for the presence of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax, and blood-engorged abdomens for the presence of human blood by ELISAs. House surveys were done at two-day intervals to record cases of blood film-confirmed malaria among the villagers. A total of 7,823 female anophelines representing 14 species were collected. Trends in anopheline abundance were significantly correlated with rainfall of the preceding month in An. annularis, An. barbirostris, An. subpictus, An. vagus, and An. varuna, but were not significant in An. culicifacies and An. peditaeniatus. Malaria parasite infections were seen in seven mosquito species, with 75% of the positive mosquitoes containing P. falciparum and 25% P. vivax. Polymorph PV247 was recorded from a vector (i.e., An. varuna) for the first time in Sri Lanka. Computations of mean number of infective vector (MIV) rates using abundance, circumsporozoite (CS) protein rate, and human blood index (HBI) showed the highest rate in An. culicifacies. A malaria outbreak occurred from October 1994 to January 1995 in which 45.5% of village residents experienced at least a single disease episode. Thereafter, malaria incidence remained low. Anopheles culicifacies abundance lagged by one month correlated positively with monthly malaria incidence during the outbreak period, and although this species ranked fifth in terms of abundance, infection was associated with a high MIV rate due to a high CS protein rate and HBI. Abundance trends in other species did not correlate significantly with malaria. It was concluded that An. culicifacies was epidemiologically the most important vector in the study area.