Distribution of anopheline mosquitoes in Eritrea.

Josephat Shililu, Tewolde Ghebremeskel, Solomon Mengistu, Helen Fekadu, Mehari Zerom, Charles Mbogo, John Githure, Weidong Gu, Robert Novak, John C. Beier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The spatial distribution of anopheline mosquito species was studied throughout Eritrea during the 1999-2001 malaria transmission seasons from October to December for the highlands and western lowlands and February to April for the coastal region. Of the 302 villages sampled, 59 were visited in both the first and second year. Overall, 13 anopheline species were identified, with the Anopheles gambiae complex predominating during the first year (75.6%, n = 861) and the second year (91.9%, n = 1,262). Intrazonal variation accounted for 90% of the total variation in mosquito distribution. Polymerase chain reaction results indicated that 99% (n = 1,309) of the An. gambiae s.l. specimens were An. arabiensis, indicating that this was the only member of the gambiae complex present. There was a high degree of aggregation of anophelines within zones and villages, with more than 80% of the total anophelines being collected from less than 20% of the villages and from only 10% of the houses sampled. At least 80% of the anopheline mosquitoes were collected from grass-thatched Agudo-type housing. Vector abundance showed an inverse relationship with elevation, with highest densities in the low-lying western lowlands. Multiple regression analysis of log-transformed mean density of An. arabiensis with rainfall and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (average NDVI, minimum NDVI, and maximum NDVI) showed that these independent variables were not significantly associated with mosquito densities (R2 = 0.058). Our study contributes to the basic understanding of the ecology and distribution of malaria vectors with respect to species composition and spatial heterogeneities both that could be used to guide vector control operations in Eritrea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalThe American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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