The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene

Infectiousness of the human population to Anopheles arabiensis by direct skin feeding in an area hypoendemic for malaria in Senegal.

PMID 25624409


Direct skin feeding experiments are sensitive assays to determine human infectiousness to mosquitoes but are rarely used in malaria epidemiological surveys. We determined the infectiousness of inhabitants of a malaria hypoendemic area in Senegal. Gametocyte prevalence by microscopy was 13.5% (26 of 192). Of all individuals who were gametocyte positive, 44.4% (11 of 25) infected ≥ 1 Anopheles arabiensis mosquito and 10.8% (54 of 500) of mosquitoes became infected. Of all individuals who were gametocyte negative by microscopy, 4.3% (7 of 162) infected ≥ 1 mosquito and 0.4% (12 of 3240) of mosquitoes became infected. The 18.2% (12 of 66) of all mosquito infections was a result of submicroscopic gametocyte carriage and two individuals without asexual parasites or gametocytes by microscopy were infectious to mosquitoes. When infectivity and local demography was taken into account, children 5-14 years of age contributed 50.8% of the human infectious reservoir for malaria. Adults and submicroscopic gametocyte carriers may contribute considerably to onward malaria transmission in our setting.