The role of Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles coustani in indoor and outdoor malaria transmission in Taveta District, Kenya

Joseph M. Mwangangi, Ephantus J. Muturi, Simon M. Muriu, Joseph Nzovu, Janet T. Midega, Charles Mbogo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The scaling up of malaria vector control efforts in Africa has resulted in changing the malaria vectorial systems across different ecological settings. In view of the ongoing trends in vector population dynamics, abundance, species composition and parasite infectiousness, there is a need to understand vector distribution and their contribution to malaria transmission to facilitate future planning of control strategies. We studied indoor and outdoor malaria transmission dynamics and vector population variability of Anopheles mosquitoes in Taveta district along the Kenyan Coast. Methods. Anopheles mosquitoes were collected indoors and outdoors in 4 ecologically different villages using CDC light traps (both indoor and outdoor) and aspiration method (day resting indoors; DRI) methods. Mosquitoes were examined for infection with P. falciparum sporozoites and blood feeding preferences using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The An. gambiae and An. funestus complexes were identified by PCR technique to determine the sibling species composition. Results: A total of 4,004 Anopheles mosquitoes were collected consisting of 34.9%% (n = 1,397) An. gambiae s.1., 28.1% (n = 1,124) An. funestus s.l., 33.5% (n = 1,340) An. coustani and 3.6% (n = 143) An. pharoensis. A total of 14,654 culicine mosquitoes were collected, mainly Cx. quinquefasciatus. Of the total Anopheles collected, 3,729 were tested for P. falciparum sporozoite infection. The sporozoite transmission was found to be occurring both indoors and outdoors. The overall sporozoite infectivity was 0.68% (n = 2,486) indoors and 1.29% (n = 1,243) outdoors. Indoor and outdoor sporozoite infectivity and the vectorial systems varied across the 4 ecological villages. Entomological inoculation rates for the 4 villages indicate that there was site-to-site variation. In the 4 villages, Mwarusa had the highest EIRs with An. arabiensis, An. funestus and An. coustani contributing to 23.91, 11.96 and 23.91 infectious bites per person per year ib/p/year respectively. In Kiwalwa and Njoro outdoor EIR was significantly higher than indoors. Conclusions: This study shows that malaria transmission is occurring both indoors and outdoors. The main vectors are An. arabiensis, An. funestus and An. coustani indoors while An. coustani is playing a major role in outdoor transmission. Effective malaria control programmes, should therefore include tools that target both indoor and outdoor transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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