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Comparison of Methods for Xenomonitoring in Vectors of Lymphatic Filariasis in Northeastern Tanzania

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  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom; National Institute for Medical Research, Muheza, Tanzania

Monitoring Wuchereria bancrofti infection in mosquitoes (xenomonitoring) can play an important role in determining when lymphatic filariasis has been eliminated, or in focusing control efforts. As mosquito infection rates can be low, a method for collecting large numbers of mosquitoes is necessary. Gravid traps collected large numbers of Culex quinquefasciatus in Tanzania, and a collection method that targets mosquitoes that have already fed could result in increased sensitivity in detecting W. bancrofti-infected mosquitoes. The aim of this experiment was to test this hypothesis by comparing U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light traps with CDC gravid traps in northeastern Tanzania, where Cx. quinquefasciatus is a vector of lymphatic filariasis. After an initial study where small numbers of mosquitoes were collected, a second study collected 16,316 Cx. quinquefasciatus in 60 gravid trap-nights and 240 light trap-nights. Mosquitoes were pooled and tested for presence of W. bancrofti DNA. Light and gravid traps collected similar numbers of mosquitoes per trap-night, but the physiological status of the mosquitoes was different. The estimated infection rate in mosquitoes collected in light traps was considerably higher than in mosquitoes collected in gravid traps, so light traps can be a useful tool for xenomonitoring work in Tanzania.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Seth R. Irish, Entomology Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE G-49, Atlanta, GA 30329. E-mail: sirish@cdc.gov

Financial support: The funding for this project came from LSHTM and a grant from AgriSense BCS Ltd. (Wales, United Kingdom). Funding was also provided by a Wellcome Trust and Royal Society grant awarded to Thomas Walker.

Authors' addresses: Seth R. Irish, Entomology Branch, Department of Parasitic Disease and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: sirish@cdc.gov. William M. B. Stevens, St. Georges Roman Catholic School, London, United Kingdom, E-mail: w.stevens@stgeorgesrc.org. Yahya A. Derua, National Institute for Medical Research, Muheza, Tanzania, E-mail: yahyaathman@yahoo.com. Thomas Walker and Mary M. Cameron, Department of Disease Control, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom, E-mails: thomas.walker@lshtm.ac.uk and mary.cameron@lshtm.ac.uk.

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