Efficacy of vector control tools against malaria-infected mosquitoes

Abstract : Within mosquito vector populations, infectious mosquitoes are the ones completing the transmission of pathogens to susceptible hosts and they are, consequently, of great epidemiological interest. Mosquito infection by malaria parasites has been shown to affect several traits of mosquito physiology and behavior, and could interplay with the efficacy of control tools. In this study, we evaluated, in pyrethroid resistant Anopheles gambiae, the effect of mosquito infection with the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum on the efficacy of nets treated with either the insecticide deltamethrin or the repellent DEET, measuring (i) mosquito success to pass through the net, (ii) blood-feeding on a host and (iii) chemicals-induced mortality. Infection of mosquitoes at non-infectious stage did not affect their success to pass through the net, to blood-feed, nor chemicals-induced mortality. At infectious stage, depending on replicates, infected mosquitoes had higher mortality rates than uninfected mosquitoes, with stronger effect in presence of DEET. This data evidenced a cost of infection on mosquito survival at transmissible stages of infection, which could have significant consequences for both malaria epidemiology and vector control. This stresses the need for understanding the combined effects of insecticide resistance and infection on the efficacy on control tools. Mosquito-borne diseases are considerable public health issues, mostly affecting populations in developing countries 1,2. To reduce their incidence, controlling vector mosquitoes and limiting their contact with human hosts remains the most effective strategy 3. One promising approach for achieving this goal would be to selectively target, within mosquito populations, individuals that are the most dangerous for humans 4. Particularly, mosquitoes carrying transmissible forms of pathogens in their salivary glands (i.e. infectious mosquitoes), are of great epidemiological relevance. Yet, the implementation of control means that could specifically reach infectious mosquitoes is dependent upon an extensive knowledge of the effects of mosquito infection on its behavior and physiology. Infection by pathogens has been shown to affect mosquito phenotypic traits 5. Malaria-infected Anopheles mosquitoes generally display increase attraction, biting and feeding rate 6-10. Interestingly, these changes are often concomitant with the presence of transmissible stages of the pathogen and may contribute to increase the number of contacts between human hosts and infectious vectors 11. These effects may lead to substantial epidemiological consequences, with transmission rates of mosquito borne pathogens being potentially much higher than expected 12. On the other hand, infection by malaria parasites may induce fitness costs on mosquitoes, reducing their survival. This can be especially true when infection is associated with other biotic and abiotic stresses 13-15. Consequently, all the behavioral and physiological changes associated with infection could directly impact the efficacy of control means. To date, conventional control tools mostly rely on the use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), although their efficacy could be threatened by the increase of insecticide resistance mechanisms in mosquito populations 16. Besides, repellents such as DEET (N, N-diéthyl-3-méthylbenzamide) offer a great potential both in cutaneous
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Margaux Mulatier, Soromane Camara, Alphonsine Koffi, David Carrasco, Angélique Porciani, et al.. Efficacy of vector control tools against malaria-infected mosquitoes. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 9 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-43195-6⟩. ⟨hal-02170837⟩

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