Tulane University, Tulane University, Delta Regional Primate Research Center, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Louisiana State University Medical Center, University of Bordeaux II, Microbiology Service, Faculty of Medicine, Port-au-Prince, New Orleans, Louisiana, Georgia
In studies conducted between 1984 and 1986, the vector competency of Culex quinquefasciatus was assessed after bloodfeeding on 61 Haitian volunteers with different densities of Wuchereria bancrofti microfilariae (mf) and on 11 that were amicrofilaremic. Infected volunteers included persons previously given diethylcarbamazine citrate for 12 consecutive days and some that were untreated. Mosquitoes, derived from field-collected larvae, were released under bed nets and fed upon the volunteers while they slept. The mean mf uptake in mosquitoes that fed on 21 carriers with low to ultralow densities (1–28 mf/ml blood) was 0.2–4 mf/mosquito (mean = 1.7 mf). The observed infectivity rate of > 3,000 mosquitoes that fed on high (56–7,500 mf/ml blood; median = 525), low (11–49 mf/ml blood; median = 20), or ultralow (1–10 mf/ml blood; median = 3) density carriers was 4, 11, and 30 times higher, respectively, than the expected rate calculated from the estimated volume of the imbibed bloodmeal. These results indicate that “hidden” carriers (<50 mf/ml blood) may serve as a source of infection for mosquitoes, and support the increasing evidence that mosquitoes ingest more microfilariae than expected.