The impact of host species and vector control measures on the fitness of African malaria vectors

Lyimo, I.N., Haydon, D., Russell, T.L., Mbina, K.F., Daraja, A.A., Mbehela, E.M., Reeve, R. and Ferguson, H. (2013) The impact of host species and vector control measures on the fitness of African malaria vectors. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 280(1754), p. 20122823. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.2823)

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Abstract

Many malaria vector mosquitoes in Africa have an extreme preference for feeding on humans. This specialization allows them to sustain much higher levels of transmission than elsewhere, but there is little understanding of the evolutionary forces that drive this behaviour. In Tanzania, we used a semi-field system to test whether the well-documented preferences of the vectors An. arabiensis and An. gambiae s.s. for cattle and humans respectively are predicted by the fitness they obtain from host-seeking on these species relative to other available hosts. Mosquito fitness was contrasted when humans were fully exposed, and when they were protected by a typical bednet. The fitness of both vectors varied between host species. The predicted relationship between host preference and fitness was confirmed in An. arabiensis, but not in An. gambiae s.s. whose fitness was similar on humans and other mammals. Use of typical, imperfect bednets generated only minor reductions in An. gambiae s.s. feeding success and fitness on humans, but was predicted to generate a significant reduction in the lifetime reproductive success of An. arabiensis on human relative to cows. This supports the hypothesis that such human-protective measures could additionally benefit malaria control by increasing selection for zoophily in vectors.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Haydon, Professor Daniel and Reeve, Dr Richard and Ferguson, Dr Heather
Authors: Lyimo, I.N., Haydon, D., Russell, T.L., Mbina, K.F., Daraja, A.A., Mbehela, E.M., Reeve, R., and Ferguson, H.
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Published Online:08 January 2013
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in 280(1754):20122823
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
425321A systems biology approach to infectious disease transmission - linking individuals, populations and ecosystemsHeather FergusonBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/D020042/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED