Anatomical dissemination of circumsporozoite protein in wild Afrotropical Anopheles affects malaria sporozoite rate determination by ELISA.

John C Beier, J. K. Koros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


The head, thorax, wings, legs and abdomen of 320 wild-caught Anopheles gambiae Giles sensu lato and 115 An.funestus Giles were tested by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for Plasmodium falciparum Welch to determine how anatomical dissemination of circumsporozoite (CS) protein could affect the estimation of malaria sporozoite rates by ELISA. Of fifty-three Anopheles with CS protein detected in any body part, positive reactions were observed for 58.5% of heads, 67.0% of thoraces, 39.6% of wings, 52.8% of legs and 60.4% of abdomens. Mean absorbance values (range 0-2.00) were highest in thorax samples (1.17), followed by heads (0.80), abdomens (0.67), wings (0.48) and legs (0.46). Circumsporozoite protein was present in the wings or legs, but not in the head or thorax, in 11.3% (6/53) of the infected Anopheles. The ELISA infection rate of 12.8% (41/320) for An.gambiae would have increased to 14.7% (47/320) by inclusion of six mosquitoes with CS protein in wings or legs alone. The slight overestimation of the proportion of infective mosquitoes due to disseminated CS protein would have little effect on estimates of relative infection rates by ELISA for field-collected Anopheles, with abdomens removed prior to testing. However, the widespread dissemination of CS protein indicates that sporozoite load estimates by ELISA, for mosquitoes without abdomens, may not provide adequate measurements of the numbers of sporozoites in the salivary glands. Operationally, careful processing of mosquito samples for the determination of infectivity rates by ELISA is necessary to prevent the mixing of wings or legs among samples representing individual mosquitoes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • veterinary(all)

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