Quantitation of Plasmodium falciparum Sporozoites Transmitted in Vitro by Experimentally Infected Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles stephensi

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  • Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, The Johns Hopkins University, Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

The frequency and numbers of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites transmitted in vitro and corresponding sporozoite loads were determined for experimentally infected Anopheles gambiae and An. stephensi. Geometric mean (GM) sporozoite loads in three experiments ranged from 808 to 13, 905 for An. gambiae and from 6, 608 to 17, 702 for An. stephensi. A total of 44.1% of 68 infected An. gambiae and 49.2% of 63 infected An. stephensi transmitted sporozoites in vitro. The GM number of sporozoites transmitted was 4.5 for An. gambiae and 5.4 for An. stephensi. Overall, 86.9% of the mosquitoes transmitted from one to 25 sporozoites, and only 6.6% transmitted over 100 sporozoites (maximum = 369). Sporozoite loads were not a useful predictor of potential sporozoite transmission. Despite higher sporozoite loads, the numbers of sporozoites transmitted in vitro by the experimentally infected mosquitoes were similar to estimates obtained, using the same techniques, for naturally infected An. gambiae in western Kenya. The low but highly variable numbers of sporozoites transmitted in vitro by mosquitoes used in malaria vaccine challenge studies appears to be a reasonable simulation of natural sporozoite transmission.