Swarms of the malaria vector Anopheles funestus in Tanzania

Kaindoa, E. W. et al. (2019) Swarms of the malaria vector Anopheles funestus in Tanzania. Malaria Journal, 18, 29. (doi: 10.1186/s12936-019-2660-y) (PMID:30696441) (PMCID:PMC6350364)

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Abstract

Background: Anopheles funestus mosquitoes currently contribute more than 85% of ongoing malaria transmission events in south-eastern Tanzania, even though they occur in lower densities than other vectors, such as Anopheles arabiensis. Unfortunately, the species ecology is minimally understood, partly because of difficulties in laboratory colonization. This study describes the first observations of An. funestus swarms in Tanzania, possibly heralding new opportunities for control. Method: Using systematic searches by community-based volunteers and expert entomologists, An. funestus swarms were identified in two villages in Ulanga and Kilombero districts in south-eastern Tanzania, starting June 2018. Swarms were characterized by size, height, start- and end-times, presence of copulation and associated environmental features. Samples of male mosquitoes from the swarms were examined for sexual maturity by observing genitalia rotation, species identity using polymerase chain reaction and wing sizes. Results: 581 An. funestus (98.1% males (n = 570) and 1.9% (n = 11) females) and 9 Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) males were sampled using sweep nets from the 81 confirmed swarms in two villages (Ikwambi in Kilombero district and Tulizamoyo in Ulanga district). Six copulation events were observed in the swarms. Mean density (95% CL) of An. funestus caught/swarm/village/evening was 6.6 (5.9–7.2) in Tulizamoyo and 10.8 (5.8–15.8) in Ikwambi. 87.7% (n = 71) of the swarms were found in Tulizamoyo, while 12.3% (n = 10) were in Ikwambi. Mean height of swarms was 1.7 m (0.9–2.5 m), while mean duration was 12.9 (7.9–17.9) minutes. The PCR analysis confirmed that 100% of all An. funestus s.l. samples processed were An. funestus sensu stricto. Mean wing length of An. funestus males was 2.47 mm (2.0–2.8 mm), but there was no difference between swarming males and indoor-resting males. Most swarms (95.0%) occurred above bare ground, sometime on front lawns near human dwellings, and repeatedly in the same locations. Conclusion: This study has demonstrated occurrence of An. funestus swarms for the first time in Tanzania. Further investigations could identify new opportunities for improved control of this dominant malaria vector, possibly by targeting the swarms.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ngowo, Halfan and Okumu, Dr Fredros
Authors: Kaindoa, E. W., Ngowo, H. S., Limwagu, A. J., Tchouakui, M., Hape, E., Abbasi, S., Kihonda, J., Mmbando, A. S., Njalambaha, R. M., Mkandawile, G., Bwanary, H., Coetzee, M., and Okumu, F. O.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Malaria Journal
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1475-2875
ISSN (Online):1475-2875
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Malaria Journal 18: 29
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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