A trade-off between dry season survival longevity and wet season high net reproduction can explain the persistence of Anopheles mosquitoes.

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Title: A trade-off between dry season survival longevity and wet season high net reproduction can explain the persistence of Anopheles mosquitoes.
Authors: Magombedze, G
Ferguson, NM
Ghani, AC
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a leading cause of death in tropical regions of the world. Despite efforts to reduce transmission, rebounds associated with the persistence of malaria vectors have remained a major impediment to local elimination. One area that remains poorly understood is how Anopheles populations survive long dry seasons to re-emerge following the onset of the rains. METHODS: We developed a suite of mathematical models to explore the impact of different dry-season mosquito survival strategies on the dynamics of vector populations. We fitted these models to an Anopheles population data set from Mali to estimate the model parameters and evaluate whether incorporating aestivation improved the fit of the model to the observed seasonal dynamics. We used the fitted models to explore the impact of intervention strategies that target aestivating mosquitoes in addition to targeting active mosquitoes and larvae. RESULTS: Including aestivation in the model significantly improved our ability to reproduce the observed seasonal dynamics of vector populations as judged by the deviance information criterion (DIC). Furthermore, such a model resulted in more biologically plausible active mosquito survival times (for A. coluzzii median wet season survival time of 10.9 days, 95% credible interval (CrI): 10.0-14.5 days in a model with aestivation versus 38.1 days, 95% CrI: 35.8-42.5 days in a model without aestivation; similar patterns were observed for A. arabiensis). Aestivation also generated enhanced persistence of the vector population over a wider range of both survival times and fecundity levels. Adding vector control interventions that target the aestivating mosquito population is shown to have the potential to enhance the impact of existing vector control. CONCLUSIONS: Dry season survival attributes appear to drive vector population persistence and therefore have implications for vector control. Further research is therefore needed to better understand these mechanisms and to evaluate the additional benefit of vector control strategies that specifically target dormant mosquitoes.
Issue Date: 3-Nov-2018
Date of Acceptance: 17-Oct-2018
ISSN: 1756-3305
Publisher: BioMed Central
Journal / Book Title: Parasites & Vectors
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s). 2018Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, andreproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link tothe Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Sponsor/Funder: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Funder's Grant Number: OPP1068440
Keywords: Aestivation
Anopheles mosquitoes
Mathematical modelling
Plasmodium falciparum
Vector ecology
Models, Theoretical
Mosquito Vectors
Population Density
1108 Medical Microbiology
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Mycology & Parasitology
Tropical Medicine
Publication Status: Published
Conference Place: England
Open Access location:
Article Number: ARTN 576
Appears in Collections:Epidemiology, Public Health and Primary Care

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