Influence of age and previous diet of Anopheles gambiae on the infectivity of natural Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes from human volunteers.

Bernard A. Okech, Louis C. Gouagna, Ephantus W. Kabiru, John C. Beier, Guiyun Yan, John I. Githure

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Abstract

The effect of age and dietary factors of Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) on the infectivity of natural Plasmodium falciparum parasites was studied. Mosquitoes of various ages (1-3, 4-7 and 8-11 day old) and those fed blood (either single or double meals) and sugar meals were experimentally co-infected with P. falciparum gametocytes obtained from different naturally infected human volunteers. On day 7, midguts were examined for oocyst infection to determine whether mosquito age or diets have significant effects on parasite infectivity. The age of the mosquitoes did not significantly influence the oocyst infection rates (chi2 = 48.32, df = 40, P = 0.172) or oocyst load (# of oocysts/midgut) (P = 0.14) observed. Oocyst load between groups was not significantly different. Similarly, the type of diet (either blood or sugar) did not influence oocyst infection rates (chi2 = 16.52, df = 19, P = 0.622). However, an increase in oocyst infection rates resulted after previous feeding on double blood meals (35%) compared to single blood meals (25%), with comparable oocyst load. These observations are in agreement with those reported in previous studies suggesting that increased mosquito nutritional reserves resulting from increased dietary resources is favorable for malaria infectivity. This field-based study indicates that vector competence of An. gambiae to natural P. falciparum parasites does not vary with age and that nutritional resources acquired prior to an infectious blood meal plays a crucial role in mosquito-parasite relationships.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of insect science (Online)
Volume4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

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gametocytes
Anopheles gambiae
Plasmodium falciparum
oocysts
volunteers
pathogenicity
Culicidae
diet
blood meal
parasites
midgut
infection
sugars
vector competence
blood
malaria

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Influence of age and previous diet of Anopheles gambiae on the infectivity of natural Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes from human volunteers. / Okech, Bernard A.; Gouagna, Louis C.; Kabiru, Ephantus W.; Beier, John C.; Yan, Guiyun; Githure, John I.

In: Journal of insect science (Online), Vol. 4, 01.12.2004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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