The interaction between permethrin exposure and malaria infection affects the host-seeking behaviour of mosquitoes

Published on 2019-03-14T05:00:00Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background Insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) help to control malaria by mechanically impeding the biting of mosquitoes, by repelling and irritating them and by killing them. In contrast to spatial repellency, irritancy implies that mosquitoes contact the ITN and are exposed to at least a sub-lethal dose of insecticide, which impedes their further blood-seeking. This would weaken the transmission of malaria, if mosquitoes are infectious. Methods It was therefore tested whether sub-lethal exposure to permethrin impedes blood-feeding differently in uninfected mosquitoes and in mosquitoes carrying the non-transmissible stage (oocysts) or the infectious stage (sporozoites) of the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. In addition, as the degree of irritancy determines the dose of insecticide the mosquitoes may receive, the irritancy to permethrin of infected and uninfected mosquitoes was compared. Results In this laboratory setting, sub-lethal exposure to permethrin inhibited the blood-seeking behaviour of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes for almost 48 h. Although infection by malaria did not affect the irritancy of the mosquitoes to permethrin at either the developmental stage or the infectious stage, both stages of infection shortened the duration of inhibition of blood-seeking. Conclusions The results suggest that the impact of ITNs may be weaker for malaria-infected than for uninfected mosquitoes. This will help to understand the global impact of ITNs on the transmission of malaria and gives a more complete picture of the effectiveness of that vector control measure.

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Thiévent, Kevin; Hauser, Gaël; Elaian, Obada; Koella, Jacob (2019): The interaction between permethrin exposure and malaria infection affects the host-seeking behaviour of mosquitoes. figshare. Collection.