Skip to main content Accessibility help

Feeding habits of anophelines (Diptera: Culicidae) in 1971–78, with reference to the human blood index: a review

  • C. Garrett-Jones (a1), P. F. L. Boreham (a2) and C. P. Pant (a3)


A synoptic view is given of the data amassed by WHO, with technical assistance from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, on the origins of blood-meals in Anopheles samples collected from 1971 to 1978. Attention is focused on the proportion of each sample found to contain human blood and on the problems of interpreting from this the human blood index or degree of biting-contact with man exhibited by vector populations. The difficulties of overcoming bias in sampling, which are formidable in unsprayed areas, are further compounded where the dwellings are treated with a slow-acting residual insecticide which knocks down many engorged mosquitoes before they can be collected from their daytime resting places. There is evidence to suggest that the host-selection patterns of those vectors which are ‘opportunistic’ feeders may be heavily influenced, even from village to village or from month to month, by the changing availability of alternative hosts, particularly cattle. This suggests in turn that the possibilities of manipulating the degree of mosquito-man contact by encouraging deflection to animals (zooprophylaxis) or by measures to afford a degree of personal protection should not be under-estimated by malaria strategists. It may sometimes be found less difficult to reduce the vector’s human blood index than it is to measure it, but in view of the epidemiological importance of this parameter, suggestions are put forward for improving entomological field practice in this area. They include a quantitative survey of the biotopes available to the mosquito population as diurnal shelters, a longitudinal survey of the densities of blood-fed females per biotope, and a survey of the numbers and the respective distribution of people and domestic animals available as hosts. The work-load entailed by such a thorough form of investigation, to be repeated where necessary at different seasons of the year, underlines the necessity to concentrate efforts on a small number of localities, carefully chosen for the malaria situations they represent and the vector populations they support. A large-scale blood-meal sampling programme, confined to these selected localities, is most likely in our estimation to yield information of value for controlling malaria vectors.



Hide All
Black, R. H. (1968). Manual of epidemiology and epidemiological services in malaria programmes.—223 pp. Geneva, WHO.
Boorman, J., Mellor, P. S., Boreham, P. F. L. & Hewett, R. S. (1977). A latex agglutination test for the identification of blood-meals of Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae).—Bull. ent. Res. 67, 305311.
Boreham, P. F. L. (1972). Serological identification of arthropod bloodmeals and its application.—PANS 18, 205209.
Boreham, P. F. L. (1975). Some applications of bloodmeal identifications in relation to the epidemiology of vector-borne tropical diseases.—J. trop. Med. Hyg. 78, 8391.
Boreham, P. F. L. & Garrett-Jones, C. (1973). Prevalence of mixed blood meals and double feeding in a malaria vector (Anopheles sacharovi Favre).—Bull. Wld Hlth Org. 48, 605614.
Bruce-Chwatt, L. J. & Göckel, C. W. (1960). A study of the blood-feeding patterns of Anopheles mosquitos through precipitin tests.—Bull. Wld Hlth Org. 22, 685720.
Bruce-Chwatt, L. J., Garrett-Jones, C. & Weitz, B. (1966). Ten years’ study (1955–1964) of host selection by anopheline mosquitos.—Bull. Wld Hlth Org. 35, 405439.
Carnevale, P. & Boreham, P. F. L. (1978). Études des préférences trophiques d’ Anophelesnili (Theo.), 1904.—Cah. ORSTOM, Sér. Entomol. Med. Parasit. 16, 1722.
Collins, R. T., Jung, R. K., Anoez, H., Sutrisno, R. H. & Putut, D. (1979). A study of the coastal malaria vectors, Anopheles sundaicus (Rodenwaldt) and Anopheles subpictus Grassi, in South Sulawesi, Sulawesi, Indonesia.—12 pp. Geneva, WHO. (WHO/MAL/79.913; WHO/VBC/79.740.)
Coluzzi, M., Sabatini, A. & Petrarca, V. (in press).—Trans. R. Soc. trop. Med Hyg.
Fontaine, R. E., Joshi, G. P. & Pradhan, G. D. (1975). Entomological evaluation of fenitrothion (OMS-43) as a residual spray for the control of An. gambiae and An. funestus, Kisumu, Kenya.—22 pp. Geneva, WHO. (WHO/VBC/75.547; WHO/MAL/75.854.)
Fontaine, R. E., Pull, J., Payne, D., Pradhan, G. D., Joshi, G. P. & Pearson, J. A. (1976). Evaluation of fenitrothion (OMS 43) for malaria control in a large-scale epidemiological trial, Kisumu, Kenya.—43 pp. Geneva, WHO. (WHO/VBC/76.645.)
Fontaine, R. E., Pull, J. H., Payne, D., Pradhan, G. D., Joshi, G. P., Pearson, J. A, Thymakis, M. K. & Ramos Camacho, M. E. (1978). Evaluation of fenitrothion for the control of malaria.—Bull. Wld. Hlth Org. 56, 445452.
Garrett-Jones, C. (1964). The human blood index of malaria vectors in relation to epidemiological assessment.—Bull. Wld Hlth Org. 30, 241261.
Highton, R. B., Bryan, J. H., Boreham, P. F. L. & Chandler, J. A. (1979). Studies on the sibling species Anopheles gambiae Giles and A. arabiensis Patton (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Kisumu area, Kenya.—Bull. ent. Res. 69, 4353.
Joshi, G. P., Fontaine, R. E., Thymakis, K. & Pradhan, G. D. (1973). The cause of occasional high counts of An. gambiae in morning pyrethrum spray collections in huts sprayed with fenitrothion, Kisumu, Kenya.—Mosquito News 33, 2938.
Joshi, G. P., Self, L. S., Usman, S., Pant, C. P., Nelson, M. J. & Supalin, . (1977). Ecological studies on Anopheles aconitus in the Semarang area of central Java, Indonesia. 15 pp. Geneva, WHO. (WHO/VBC/77.677.)
Joshi, G. P., Service, M. W. & Pradhan, G. D. (1975). A survey of species A and B of the Anopheles gambiae Giles complex in the Kisumu area of Kenya prior to insecticidal spraying with OMS-43 (fenitrothion).—Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 69, 91104.
Macdonald, G. (1952). The analysis of the sporozoite rate.—Trop. Dis. Bull. 49, 569–86.
Macdonald, G. (1957). The epidemiology and control of malaria.—201 pp. London, Oxford University Press.
Molineaux, L. & Gramiccia, G. (in press). The Garki Project.—Bull. Wld Hlth Org.
Reisen, W. K. & Boreham, P. F. L. (1979). Host selection patterns of some Pakistan mosquitoes.—Am. J. trop. Med. Hyg. 28, 408421.
Service, M. W., Joshi, G. P. & Pradhan, G. D. (1978). A survey of Anopheles gambiae (species A) and An. arabiensis (species B) of the An. gambiae Giles complex in the Kisumu area of Kenya following insecticidal spraying with OMS-43 (fenitrothion).—Ann. trop. Med. Parasit. 72, 377386.
Weitz, B. (1956). Identification of blood meals of blood-sucking arthropods.—Bull. Wld Hlth Org. 15, 473490.
White, G. B. (1974). Anopheles gambiae complex and disease transmission in Africa.—Trans. R. Soc. trop. Med. Hyg. 68, 278301.
White, G. B. (1978). Systematic reappraisal of the Anopheles maculipennis complex.—Mosq. Syst. 10, 1344.
White, G. B. & Rosen, P. (1973). Comparative studies on sibling species of the Anopheles gambiae Giles complex (Dipt., Culicidae). II. Ecology of species A and B in savanna around Kaduna, Nigeria, during transition from wet to dry season.—Bull. ent. Res. 62, 613625.
World Health Organization (1963). Terminology of malaria and of malaria eradication, Report of a drafting committee.—127 pp. Geneva, WHO.
World Helath Organization (1975). Manual of practical entomology in malaria. Part I. Vector bionomics and organization of anti-malaria activities.—160 pp. Part II. Methods and techniques.—191 pp. Geneva, WHO. (WHO Offest Publication no. 13.)
World Health Organization (1978). Director General's Report to 31st World Health Assembly (WHO doc. A31/19, Geneva), 32 pp.

Feeding habits of anophelines (Diptera: Culicidae) in 1971–78, with reference to the human blood index: a review

  • C. Garrett-Jones (a1), P. F. L. Boreham (a2) and C. P. Pant (a3)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.