Rethinking the extrinsic incubation period of malaria parasites

Ohm, J. R., Baldini, F. , Barreaux, P., Lefevre, T., Lynch, P. A., Suh, E., Whitehead, S. A. and Thomas, M. B. (2018) Rethinking the extrinsic incubation period of malaria parasites. Parasites and Vectors, 11, 178. (doi: 10.1186/s13071-018-2761-4) (PMID:29530073) (PMCID:PMC5848458)

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The time it takes for malaria parasites to develop within a mosquito, and become transmissible, is known as the extrinsic incubation period, or EIP. EIP is a key parameter influencing transmission intensity as it combines with mosquito mortality rate and competence to determine the number of mosquitoes that ultimately become infectious. In spite of its epidemiological significance, data on EIP are scant. Current approaches to estimate EIP are largely based on temperature-dependent models developed from data collected on parasite development within a single mosquito species in the 1930s. These models assume that the only factor affecting EIP is mean environmental temperature. Here, we review evidence to suggest that in addition to mean temperature, EIP is likely influenced by genetic diversity of the vector, diversity of the parasite, and variation in a range of biotic and abiotic factors that affect mosquito condition. We further demonstrate that the classic approach of measuring EIP as the time at which mosquitoes first become infectious likely misrepresents EIP for a mosquito population. We argue for a better understanding of EIP to improve models of transmission, refine predictions of the possible impacts of climate change, and determine the potential evolutionary responses of malaria parasites to current and future mosquito control tools.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:MBT, JRO, PL, SAW, ES and PB were supported in part by the National Science Foundation (DEB-1518681) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH NIAID R01AI110793). FB was supported by EMBO ALTF 43-2014 and AXA RF 14-AXA-PDOC-130 and TL was supported by ANR grant 16-CE35-0007.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Baldini, Dr Francesco
Authors: Ohm, J. R., Baldini, F., Barreaux, P., Lefevre, T., Lynch, P. A., Suh, E., Whitehead, S. A., and Thomas, M. B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Parasites and Vectors
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):1756-3305
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Parasites and Vectors 11: 178
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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