Biting behaviour of African malaria vectors : 1. Where do the main vector species bite on the human body?

Show simple item record Braack, L.E.O. Hunt, Richard H. Koekemoer, Lizette L. Gericke, Anton Munhenga, Givemore Haddow, Andrew D. Becker, Piet J. Okia, Michael Kimera, Isaac Coetzee, Maureen 2015-03-24T11:04:10Z 2015-03-24T11:04:10Z 2015-02
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND : Malaria control in Africa relies heavily on indoor vector management, primarily indoor residual spraying and insecticide treated bed nets. Little is known about outdoor biting behaviour or even the dynamics of indoor biting and infection risk of sleeping household occupants. In this paper we explore the preferred biting sites on the human body and some of the ramifications regarding infection risk and exposure management. METHODS : We undertook whole-night human landing catches of Anopheles arabiensis in South Africa and Anopheles gambiae s.s. and Anopheles funestus in Uganda, for seated persons wearing short sleeve shirts, short pants, and bare legs, ankles and feet. Catches were kept separate for different body regions and capture sessions. All An. gambiae s. l. and An. funestus group individuals were identified to species level by PCR. RESULTS : Three of the main vectors of malaria in Africa (An. arabiensis, An. gambiae s.s. and An. funestus) all have a preference for feeding close to ground level, which is manifested as a strong propensity (77.3% – 100%) for biting on lower leg, ankles and feet of people seated either indoors or outdoors, but somewhat randomly along the lower edge of the body in contact with the surface when lying down. If the lower extremities of the legs (below mid-calf level) of seated people are protected and therefore exclude access to this body region, vector mosquitoes do not move higher up the body to feed at alternate body sites, instead resulting in a high (58.5% - 68.8%) reduction in biting intensity by these three species. CONCLUSIONS : Protecting the lower limbs of people outdoors at night can achieve a major reduction in biting intensity by malaria vector mosquitoes. Persons sleeping at floor level bear a disproportionate risk of being bitten at night because this is the preferred height for feeding by the primary vector species. Therefore it is critical to protect children sleeping at floor level (bednets; repellent-impregnated blankets or sheets, etc.). Additionally, the opportunity exists for the development of inexpensive repellent-impregnated anklets and/or sandals to discourage vectors feeding on the lower legs under outdoor conditions at night. en_ZA
dc.description.librarian hb2015 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative. en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Braack, L, Hunt, RH, Koekemoer, LL, Gericke, A, Munhenga, G, Haddow, AD, Becker, P, Okia, M, Kimera, I & Coetzee, M 2015, 'Biting behaviour of African malaria vectors: 1. Where do the main vector species bite on the human body?', Parasites & Vectors, vol. 8, art. #76, pp. 1-10. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1756-3305
dc.identifier.other 10.1186/s13071-015-0677-9
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher BioMed Central en_ZA
dc.rights © 2015 Braack et al ; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.orglicenses/by/4.0). en_ZA
dc.subject Anopheles en_ZA
dc.subject Biting behaviour en_ZA
dc.subject Feeding behaviour en_ZA
dc.subject Outdoor biting en_ZA
dc.subject Malaria en_ZA
dc.title Biting behaviour of African malaria vectors : 1. Where do the main vector species bite on the human body? en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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