Gametocytemia and Attractiveness of Plasmodium falciparum-Infected Kenyan Children to Anopheles gambiae Mosquitoes

Annette O. Busula, Teun Bousema, Collins K. Mweresa, Daniel Masiga, James G. Logan, Robert W. Sauerwein, Niels O. Verhulst, Willem Takken, Jetske G. de Boer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has been suggested that Plasmodia manipulate their vertebrate hosts to enhance parasite transmission. Using a dual-choice olfactometer, we investigated the attraction of Anopheles gambiae to 50 Kenyan children (aged 5-12 years) who were naturally infected with Plasmodium falciparum or noninfected controls. Microscopic gametocyte carriers attracted almost 2 times more mosquitoes than children who were parasite free, harbored asexual stages, or had gametocytes at submicroscopic densities. By using highly sensitive stage-specific molecular methods to detect P. falciparum, we show that gametocytes-and not their noninfectious asexual progenitors-induce increased attractiveness of humans to mosquitoes. Our findings therefore support the parasite host manipulation hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-295
JournalThe Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume216
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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Keywords

  • chemical ecology
  • host finding
  • malaria transmission
  • olfactory behavior
  • vector control

Cite this

Busula, A. O., Bousema, T., Mweresa, C. K., Masiga, D., Logan, J. G., Sauerwein, R. W., ... de Boer, J. G. (2017). Gametocytemia and Attractiveness of Plasmodium falciparum-Infected Kenyan Children to Anopheles gambiae Mosquitoes. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 216(3), 291-295. https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jix214