Human biting activity, spatial-temporal distribution and malaria vector role of Anopheles calderoni in the southwest of Colombia

Lorena I. Orjuela, Martha L. Ahumada, Ivonni Avila, Sócrates Herrera, John C. Beier, Martha L. Quiñones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Anopheles calderoni was first recognized in Colombia in 2010 as this species had been misidentified as Anopheles punctimacula due to morphological similarities. An. calderoni is considered a malaria vector in Peru and has been found naturally infected with Plasmodium falciparum in Colombia. However, its biting behaviour, population dynamics and epidemiological importance have not been well described for Colombia. Methods: To assess the contribution of An. calderoni to malaria transmission and its human biting behaviour and spatial/temporal distribution in the southwest of Colombia, human landing catches (HLC) and larval collections were carried out in a cross-sectional, entomological study in 22 localities between 2011 and 2012, and a longitudinal study was performed in the Boca de Prieta locality in Olaya Herrera municipality between July 2012 and June 2013. All mosquitoes determined as An. calderoni were tested by ELISA to establish infection with Plasmodium spp. Results: Larvae of An. calderoni were found in four localities in 12 out of 244 breeding sites inspected. An. calderoni adults were collected in 14 out of 22 localities during the cross-sectional study and represented 41.3% (459 of 1,111) of the collected adult specimens. Other species found were Anopheles albimanus (54.7%), Anopheles apicimacula (2.1%), Anopheles neivai (1.7%), and Anopheles argyritarsis (0.2%). In the localities that reported the highest malaria Annual Parasite Index (>10/1,000 inhabitants) during the year of sampling, An. calderoni was the predominant species (>90% of the specimens collected). In the longitudinal study, 1,528 An. calderoni were collected by HLC with highest biting rates in February, May and June 2013, periods of high precipitation. In general, the species showed a preference to bite outdoors (p < 0.001). In Boca de Prieta, two specimens of An. calderoni were ELISA positive for Plasmodium circumsporozoite protein: one for P. falciparum and one for Plasmodium vivax VK-210. This represents an overall sporozoite rate of 0.1% and an annual entomological inoculation rate of 2.84 infective bites/human/year. Conclusions: This study shows that An. calderoni is a primary malaria vector in the southwest of Colombia. Its observed preference for outdoor biting is a major challenge for malaria control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number256
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 24 2015


  • Anopheles calderoni
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium vivax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Human biting activity, spatial-temporal distribution and malaria vector role of Anopheles calderoni in the southwest of Colombia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this