Volume 47, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Feeding behavior was compared between infected and uninfected field-collected groups of sensu lato and from western Kenya. A significantly greater percentage (81%) of -infected s.l. females probed on experimental hosts (hamsters) than did uninfected females (38%). Among those females that initiated probing, there was no effect of infection status on the ability to take a bloodmeal. -infected s.l. probed more often (mean = 4.0) and for a longer time (mean = 277 sec) than did their uninfected counterparts (mean = 2.4 probes and mean probing time = 214 sec). Results for the small number of that fed followed the same trend. Among infected s.l. females, there was no effect of sporozoite density on either the number of probes made or the total probing time. Among uninfected females, there was no difference in feeding behavior between nulliparous and parous females. In laboratory experiments, female age had no effect on blood-feeding behavior. Our findings provide evidence that natural malaria infection modifies the feeding behavior of females.


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