Incidence of Plasmodium falciparum infection in infants in relation to exposure to sporozoite-infected anophelines.

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  • 1 Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel.
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The relationship of the incidence of Plasmodium falciparum infection to entomologic inoculation rates (EIRs) was studied in 163 children less than one year of age in a Tanzanian village to determine likely effects of transmission-reducing interventions on infection incidence. A total of 66,727 Anopheles gambiae s.l. and 17,620 An. funestus mosquitoes were caught in 1,056 light trap collections from 139 houses over a period of more than two years. Time period-specific human biting rates were estimated for 11 village neighborhoods. Sporozoites were detected by ELISA in 4.4% of the An. funestus and 2.5% of the An. gambiae s.l. Eight hundred seventeen pairs of blood slides with approximately two-week intervals between slides were used to estimate incidence of parasitemia by fitting reversible catalytic models to parasite positivity data. Estimated EIRs during the four weeks preceding each intersurvey interval averaged 1.6 (SD = 2.1) per adult per night. Parasites were present at the end of 31% of the 443 intervals that commenced with a parasite-negative slide. Attack rates were comparable with those in western Kenya, and the proportion of bites resulting in human infections was strongly dependent on mosquito density. Incidence of infection increased with the EIR up to approximately one bite from a sporozoite-carrying mosquito per adult per night. However, higher levels of transmission observed locally in the wet season did not result in a correspondingly higher incidence. These data suggest that transmission-reducing measures cannot be expected to reduce incidence of infection at the highest levels of EIR.