Volume 78, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


A 12-month field study was conducted between April 2004 and March 2005 to determine the association between irrigated rice cultivation and malaria transmission in Mwea, Kenya. Adult mosquitoes were collected indoors twice per month in three villages representing non-irrigated, planned, and unplanned rice agro-ecosystems and screened for blood meal sources and circumsporozoite proteins. Patton and Giles comprised 98.0% and 1.9%, respectively, of the 39,609 female anophelines collected. Other species including Theobald, Giles, Theobald, Laveran, and Gough comprised the remaining 0.1%. The density of was highest in the planned rice village and lowest in the non-irrigated village and that of was significantly higher in the non-irrigated village than in irrigated ones. The human blood index (HBI) for was significantly higher in the non-irrigated village compared with irrigated villages. For , the HBI for each village differed significantly from the others, being highest in the non-irrigated village and lowest in the planned rice village. The sporozoite rate and annual entomologic inoculation rate (EIR) for was 1.1% and 3.0 infective bites per person, respectively with no significant difference among villages. Sporozoite positive were detected only in planned rice and non-irrigated villages. Overall, 3.0% of samples tested positive for sporozoites. The annual EIR of 2.21 for this species in the non-irrigated village was significantly higher than 0.08 for the planned rice village. We conclude that at least in Mwea Kenya, irrigated rice cultivation may reduce the risk of malaria transmission by but has no effect on malaria transmission by . The zoophilic tendency of malaria vectors in irrigated areas accounts partly for low malaria transmission rates despite the presence of higher vector densities, highlighting the potential of zooprophylaxis in malaria control.


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  • Received : 04 Sep 2007
  • Accepted : 28 Oct 2007

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