Autodissemination of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae amongst adults of the malaria vector anopheles gambiae s.s.

E.J. Scholte, B.G.J. Knols, W. Takken

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Background - The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is being considered as a biocontrol agent for adult African malaria vectors. In the laboratory, work was carried out to assess whether horizontal transmission of the pathogen can take place during copulation, as this would enhance the impact of the fungus on target populations when compared with insecticides. Methods - Virgin female Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto were exposed to conidia whilst resting on fungus-impregnated paper. These females were then placed together for one hour with uncontaminated males in proportions of either 1:1 or 1:10 shortly before the onset of mating activity. Results - Males that had acquired fungal infection after mating indicate that passive transfer of the pathogen from infected females does occur, with mean male infection rates between 10.7 ± 3.2% and 33.3 ± 3.8%. The infections caused by horizontal transmission did not result in overall differences in survival between males from test and control groups, but in one of the three experiments the infected males had significantly shorter life spans than uninfected males (P <0.05). Conclusion - This study shows that autodissemination of fungal inoculum between An. gambiae s.s. mosquitoes during mating activity is possible under laboratory conditions. Field studies are required next, to assess the extent to which this phenomenon may augment the primary contamination pathway (i.e. direct contact with fungus-impregnated targets) of vector populations in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number45
Number of pages6
JournalMalaria Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • popillia-japonica coleoptera
  • insecticide resistance
  • beauveria-bassiana
  • japanese-beetle
  • pheromone trap
  • infection
  • diptera
  • africa
  • entomophthorales
  • yponomeutidae

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