Bernard A. Okech, Louis C. Gouagna, Ephantus W. Kabiru, John C. Beier, Guiyun Yan, John I. Githure
Journal of Insect Science 4 (33), 1-8, (1 October 2004) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.004.3301
KEYWORDS: An. gambiae, blood sugar feeding, malaria infectivty, mosquito age, oocysts, P. falciparum, sporogony
The effect of age and dietary factors of Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) on the infectivity of natural Plasmodium falciparum parasites was studied. Mosquitoes of various ages (1–3, 4–7 and 8–11 day old) and those fed blood (either single or double meals) and sugar meals were experimentally co-infected with P. falciparum gametocytes obtained from different naturally infected human volunteers. On day 7, midguts were examined for oocyst infection to determine whether mosquito age or diets have significant effects on parasite infectivity. The age of the mosquitoes did not significantly influence the oocyst infection rates (χ2 = 48.32, df = 40, P = 0.172) or oocyst load (# of oocysts/midgut) (P = 0.14) observed. Oocyst load between groups was not significantly different. Similarly, the type of diet (either blood or sugar) did not influence oocyst infection rates (χ2 = 16.52, df = 19, P = 0.622). However, an increase in oocyst infection rates resulted after previous feeding on double blood meals (35%) compared to single blood meals (25%), with comparable oocyst load. These observations are in agreement with those reported in previous studies suggesting that increased mosquito nutritional reserves resulting from increased dietary resources is favorable for malaria infectivity. This field-based study indicates that vector competence of An. gambiae to natural P. falciparum parasites does not vary with age and that nutritional resources acquired prior to an infectious blood meal plays a crucial role in mosquito-parasite relationships.
number of oocysts per midgut
percent of midguts with oocysts