Mosquitoes that Transmit Malaria

Categories: HealthMalaria

Malaria parasite is transmitted among humans by female mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles. There are 475 formally recognised species and more than 50 unnamed members of species complexes (Meigen, 1818). Approximately, 70 of these species have the capacity to transmit human malaria parasites (Service, 2002).

Mosquitoes breed in water and each species has its own breeding preference. Mosquitoes have a complex life cycle with four stages and vivid changes in shape, function, and habitat. The life cycle starts when female mosquitoes lay their eggs on water or the inner wet walls of water containers.

The eggs hatch giving larvae, which feed on microorganisms and particulate organic matter. They moult their skins three times to develop from first to fourth instars. Then the larva and through metamorphosis process, change into a pupa stage. Pupae do not feed; they develop into adults. The newly formed adult emerges from the water after breaking the pupal skin. The life cycle lasts 8-10 days at optimal temperature, depending on the level of feeding (Service, 2002).

Having sufficient longevity (survives the extrinsic incubation period and transmits the parasite), preference for feeding on humans and an immune system that the parasite can avoid, make Anopheles extremely successful vector for malaria parasite (Cohuet et al., 2010)

Vector distribution and malaria biodiversity is highly associated with environmental factors. Climate seasonality, rainfall patterns, temperature, humidity, topography and surface water are directly related to malaria transmission. In addition, land use land cover, agriculture, population movements, dam/road constructions and wars also affect the transmission levels and malaria epidemiology (Ageep et al.

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, 2009; Machault et al., 2011).

Recently, many studies about the distribution of the dominant vector species (DVS) have been conducted to define Anopheles distribution in Africa, Americas, Europe Central and South East Asia (Kuhn et al., 2002; Levine et al., 2004; Moffett et al.,, 2007; Manguin et al., 2008; ; Sinka et al., 2010; Sinka et al., 2011, Sinka et al., 2012) .

The Dominant Vector Species are identified by experts of the MAP, vector distribution-mapping project. These DVS are species (or species complexes) that transmit the majority of human malaria parasites in an area by virtue of their abundance, their propensity for feeding on humans, their mean adult longevity, or any combination of these and other factors that increase overall vectorial capacity (Hay et al., 2010).

Africa has the most important and competent DVS of human malaria, the An. gambiae complex; consequently some of Africa areas report the highest entomological inoculation rates and the highest malaria morbidity and mortality worldwide (Coluzzi, 1999; Hay et al., 2009; WHO, 2015c). There are seven DVS in Africa, four principal species belonging to An. gambiae complex: An. gambiae, An. arabiensis, An. merus and An. melas. Other three highly anthropophilic DVS are spread in African region: An. funestus, An. moucheti and An. nili (Sinka, Bangs, et al., 2010).

European and the Middle Eastern regions are considered as low malaria transmission areas. An. atroparvus is mostly diffused in these regions (Sinka, Bangs, et al., 2010). Nine DVS were found in the Americas, where An. darlingi is considered one of the most efficient malaria vectors (Sinka, Rubio-Palis, et al., 2010).

In Asian-Pacific region, 19 DVS were found; An. stephensi and the An. culicifacies complex are the main vector in the Arabian Peninsula, An. lesteri in China, Indian subcontinent and Korea, the An. farauti complex in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu and An. farauti complex in Queensland and the Northern Territory of Australia. The greatest number of DVS exist in Myanmar, of which An. aconitus, An. annularis, An. barbirostris complex, An. culicifacies complex, An. dirus complex, An. maculatus group, An. minimus complex, An. sinensis complex, An. stephensi, An. subpictus complex and, in some coastal site, An. sundaicus complex (Sinka et al., 2011).

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Mosquitoes that Transmit Malaria. (2021, Apr 26). Retrieved from

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