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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 118-126

Biting behaviour of Anopheles funestus populations in Mutare and Mutasa districts, Manicaland province, Zimbabwe: Implications for the malaria control programme


1 Department of Biological Science, University of Zimbabwe; Abt Associates Inc., Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
2 Department of Biological Science, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
3 Abt Associates Inc., Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
4 Department of Entomology, National Institute of Health Research, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe

Correspondence Address:
Shadreck Sande
Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, University of Zimbabwe, PO Box MP 167
Zimbabwe
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 27353581

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Background & objectives: Biting behaviour of Anopheles funestus in Mutare and Mutasa districts, Zimbabwe, is little understood. An investigation was conducted to primarily compare indoor and outdoor biting behaviour of the mosquito, as well as blood meal sources and sporozoite rates. Methods: Monthly adult anopheline sampling was conducted from October 2013 to September 2014 using Centers for Disease Control light-traps, pyrethrum spray catch and artificial pit shelter methods. Mosquitoes sampled by light-traps were divided into two cohorts. In one cohort, traps were left overnight and mosquitoes were collected the following morning, while in the other set, mosquitoes were collected hourly from 1800-0600 hrs . Collected females were identified using morphological characters and categorised according to their abdominal status. Polymerase chain reaction was used to identify An. funestus sibling species and blood meal sources. Infection rate was tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Morphological identification showed that indoor and outdoor catches comprised Anopheles funestus (98.3%) and Anopheles gambiae s.l. (1.7%). Of the 2268 mosquitoes collected, 66.2% were caught by light-traps, and 33.8% were caught resting indoors and outdoors. Anopheles funestus and An. gambiae s.l. were trapped more abundantly indoors (68%) than outdoors (32%). Both indoor and outdoor An. funestus densities were higher in wet (4.3) than dry season (1.8). In Burma Valley and Zindi areas, An. funestus demonstrated variable nocturnal indoor and outdoor flight activity rhythms, with two peaks during the night; between 2200-2300 hrs and 0200- 0400 hrs. Human blood index in An. funestus was 0.64, with Plasmodium falciparum infection rate of 1.8%. Interpretation & conclusion: The present work highlighted important information on the host-seeking behaviour, blood meal sources and infection rates in An. funestus. The information would be helpful in improving the vector control strategies.


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