Anopheles diversity, biting behaviour and transmission potential in forest and farm environments of Gia Lai province, Vietnam

Published: July 5, 2023


Van Dung N, Thieu NQ, Canh HD, Le Duy B, Hung VV, Ngoc NTH, Mai NVT, Van Anh NT, Son LD, Oo WH, Htike W, Oo MC, Galau NH, Thu KM, Zaw AK, Htwe EP, Cutts JC, Kearney EA, Wang B, Agius PA, Fowkes FJI, O’Flaherty K. Anopheles diversity, biting behaviour and transmission potential in forest and farm environments of Gia Lai province, Vietnam. Malar J. 2023 Jul 5;22(1):204. doi: 10.1186/s12936-023-04631-1. PMID: 37408026; PMCID: PMC10320868.


Background: Despite recent reductions in Vietnam, malaria transmission persists in some areas in forests and farmlands where a high density of Anopheles mosquitoes relative to other environments occurs. To inform effective malaria control measures, it is important to understand vector bionomics and the malaria transmission role of Anopheles spp. in the highland regions of Vietnam. This study was conducted to quantify the abundance, composition and biting behaviour of the Anopheles mosquito population, and the proportion of Plasmodium spp. infected mosquitoes collected from forest and agricultural farm sites in Gia Lai province, Vietnam.

Methods: Forest and agricultural farm sites in Gia Lai province were selected for mosquito collections (total eight sites). Mosquito collection was performed by Human-baited Double Net Trap (HDNT), animal-baited traps (ABT) using cattle, and CDC light traps. Captured mosquitoes were identified morphologically, and salivary glands of Anopheles mosquitoes were examined for sporozoites using microscopy. Plasmodium infection was determined by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), and identification of blood meal type was determined by PCR and diffuse serum agglutination assay.

Results: A total of 1815 Anopheles mosquitoes belonging to 19 species were collected by ABT (n = 1169), HDNT (n = 471) and CDC light trap (n = 175). Anopheles abundance and diversity varied by district and environment. Capture by HDNT of Anopheles of vectorial concern was observed between early evening and early morning. Plasmodium vivax infection was determined by PCR in two Anopheles dirus specimens captured by HDNT in forest sites. Blood from a range of hosts could, including human blood, could be detected in species considered primary and secondary vectors An. dirus, and Anopheles aconitus, and Anopheles maculatus, respectively.

Conclusions: A low number of Anopheles spp. considered primary vectors of concern and very low numbers of Plasmodium spp. infected Anopheles mosquitoes were captured at the end of the rainy season in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. However, capture species of vectorial concern by HDNT throughout the early to late evening demonstrates that use of additional personal protective measures could supplement current preventative measures, such as bed nets to prevent exposure to vectors of concern in this region.