Bancroftian filariasis in Maceio, state of Alagoas, Brazil: Observations on Culex quinquefasciatus after blood feeding on individuals with different densities of microfilariae in the peripheral blood stream.

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  • 1 Departamento de Patologia, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Maceio, Brazil.

Females of laboratory-reared Culex quinquefasciatus were allowed to take blood meals on individuals with low (1-100 microfilariae/ml of peripheral blood), moderate (101-500 microfilariae/ml), and high (> 500 microfilariae/ml) microfilaremia. The mosquitoes ingested 1.39-3.80 microl of blood and infective third-stage (L3) larvae were first recorded 13-14 days after the infecting blood meal. The number of microfilariae ingested by mosquitoes was proportional to the density of microfilariae in the peripheral blood of the human subjects, but with a concentration factor of up to 6.5 times the expected number. Survival of mosquitoes was not influenced by the density of microfilariae in the peripheral blood of infected individuals. Infectivity indices were proportional to microfilaremia in human subjects. The number of L3 larvae/female (intensity of infection) was not influenced by individual microfilaremia. The highest vector efficiency and the best experimental infection index were recorded in mosquitoes that blood fed on individuals with moderate microfilaremia. The results are discussed in relation to the transmission on Bancroftian filariasis in the study area.