An increase in Anopheles arabiensis showing endophilic behavior was observed in Macha, Zambia during March 2007. To determine whether this shift in resting behavior was accompanied by a change in feeding preference, an attempt was made to calculate the human blood index. However, only 46.2% of blood meals were successfully identified with existing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostics. This failure was hypothesized to be caused by the limitations of existing methods that are not capable of identifying host source from anophelines resting for extended time periods. Using an assay we developed that allows for the identification of mammalian host DNA out to 60 hours post-feeding, we were able to successfully determine the host source of 94.3% of recovered blood meals. The data show that, although An. arabiensis in Macha experienced a period of higher endophily, the degree of anthropophily and the sporozoite rate in the population remained comparable to the previous malaria season.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases