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DISTRIBUTION OF ANOPHELINE MOSQUITOES IN ERITREA

JOSEPHAT SHILILUNational Malaria Control Program, Division of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Asmara, Eritrea; International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya; Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya; Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois; Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

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TEWOLDE GHEBREMESKELNational Malaria Control Program, Division of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Asmara, Eritrea; International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya; Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya; Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois; Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

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SOLOMON MENGISTUNational Malaria Control Program, Division of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Asmara, Eritrea; International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya; Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya; Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois; Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

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HELEN FEKADUNational Malaria Control Program, Division of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Asmara, Eritrea; International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya; Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya; Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois; Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

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MEHARI ZEROMNational Malaria Control Program, Division of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Asmara, Eritrea; International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya; Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya; Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois; Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

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CHARLES MBOGONational Malaria Control Program, Division of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Asmara, Eritrea; International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya; Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya; Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois; Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

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JOHN GITHURENational Malaria Control Program, Division of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Asmara, Eritrea; International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya; Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya; Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois; Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

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WEIDONG GUNational Malaria Control Program, Division of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Asmara, Eritrea; International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya; Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya; Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois; Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

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ROBERT NOVAKNational Malaria Control Program, Division of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Asmara, Eritrea; International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya; Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya; Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois; Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

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JOHN C. BEIERNational Malaria Control Program, Division of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Asmara, Eritrea; International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya; Centre for Geographic Medicine Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya; Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois; Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

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The spatial distribution of anopheline mosquito species was studied throughout Eritrea during the 1999–2001 malaria transmission seasons from October to December for the highlands and western lowlands and February to April for the coastal region. Of the 302 villages sampled, 59 were visited in both the first and second year. Overall, 13 anopheline species were identified, with the Anopheles gambiae complex predominating during the first year (75.6%, n = 861) and the second year (91.9%, n = 1,262). Intrazonal variation accounted for 90% of the total variation in mosquito distribution. Polymerase chain reaction results indicated that 99% (n = 1,309) of the An. gambiae s.l. specimens were An. arabiensis, indicating that this was the only member of the gambiae complex present. There was a high degree of aggregation of anophelines within zones and villages, with more than 80% of the total anophelines being collected from less than 20% of the villages and from only 10% of the houses sampled. At least 80% of the anopheline mosquitoes were collected from grass-thatched Agudo-type housing. Vector abundance showed an inverse relationship with elevation, with highest densities in the low-lying western lowlands. Multiple regression analysis of log-transformed mean density of An. arabiensis with rainfall and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (average NDVI, minimum NDVI, and maximum NDVI) showed that these independent variables were not significantly associated with mosquito densities (R2 = 0.058). Our study contributes to the basic understanding of the ecology and distribution of malaria vectors with respect to species composition and spatial heterogeneities both that could be used to guide vector control operations in Eritrea.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Josephat Shililu, National Malaria Control Program, Division of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, PO Box 212, Asmara, Eritrea. Telephone: 291-1-125-529, Fax: 291-1-122-899 or 291-1-125835, E-mail: shililu@gemel.com.er.
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