Anopheles arabiensis is a major vector of Plasmodium falciparum in southern Zambia. This study aimed to determine the rate of multiple human blood meals taken by An. arabiensis to more accurately estimate entomologic inoculation rates (EIRs). Mosquitoes were collected in four village areas over two seasons. DNA from human blood meals was extracted and amplified at four microsatellite loci. Using the three-allele method, which counts ≥ 3 alleles at any microsatellite locus as a multiple blood meal, we determined that the overall frequency of multiple blood meals was 18.9%, which was higher than rates reported for An. gambiae in Kenya and An. funestus in Tanzania. Computer simulations showed that the three-allele method underestimates the true multiple blood meal proportion by 3-5%. Although P. falciparum infection status was not shown to influence the frequency of multiple blood feeding, the high multiple feeding rate found in this study increased predicted malaria risk by increasing EIR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases