Plasmodium Parasite-infection in the Malaria Vector Mosquito, Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae)
Olayemi, I. K. and Ande, A. T.
The need for a better understanding of the Plasmodium parasite-mosquito vector interactions in the ‘parasite-vector-host’ triad of malaria transmission, a pre-requisite for mosquito vector manipulation for malaria control, informed this study. To this end, the influence of Plasmodium bergheiparasite-infected blood meal on reproductive and longevity fitness of Anopheles gambiae mosquito species was investigated under laboratory conditions. The results showed that with the exception of duration of embryogeny and egg-hatching rate, all fitness attributes investigated were significantly (P<0.05) affected in mosquitoes fed with parasite-infected blood. For example, the parasite-infected blood was much less attractive (47.08±8.40%) relative to the uninfected blood (68.27±5.18%); while post-blood meal pre-oviposition period was significantly extended by two days in the test mosquitoes (5.54±0.83 days). Also, Fecundity was significantly higher in the Control than test mosquitoes. The mosquitoes fed with uninfected blood lived almost twice longer (26.95±7.28 days), post-blood meal, than those offered infected-blood. These results show that though An. gambiae has been adjudged the most successful vector of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, it does that at high fitness costs.