Does artemether-lumefantrine administration affect mosquito olfactory behaviour and fitness?

Jetske G. de Boer*, Annette O. Busula, Jet ten Berge, Tessa S. van Dijk, Willem Takken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) is the recommended treatment against uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infections, and ACT is widely used. It has been shown that gametocytes may be present after ACT and transmission to mosquitoes is still possible. Artemether-lumefantrine (AL) is a broadly used artemisinin-based combination medicine. Here, it is tested whether AL influences behaviour and fitness of Anopheles mosquitoes, which are the main vectors of P. falciparum. RESULTS: Dual-choice olfactometer and screenhouse experiments showed that skin odour of healthy human individuals obtained before, during and after AL-administration was equally attractive to Anopheles coluzzii and Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto, apart from a small (but significant) increase in mosquito response to skin odour collected 3 weeks after AL-administration. Anopheles coluzzii females fed on parasite-free blood supplemented with AL or on control-blood had similar survival, time until oviposition and number of eggs produced. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the results, AL does not appear to influence malaria transmission through modification of vector mosquito olfactory behaviour or fitness. Extending these studies to Plasmodium-infected individuals and malaria mosquitoes with parasites are needed to further support this conclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalMalaria Journal
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2019


  • Antimalarial medication
  • Epidemiology
  • Gametocytes
  • Host-searching
  • Olfaction
  • Post-treatment transmission
  • Skin odour

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