Highly focused anopheline breeding sites and malaria transmission in Dakar

Extract of Malaria Journal - june 2009

Vanessa Machault [1] Libasse Gadiaga [2] Cecile Vignolles [3] Fanny Jarjaval [1] Samia Bouzid [1] Cheikh Sokhna [2] Jean-Pierre Lacaux [4] Jean-Francois Trape [2] Christophe Rogier [1] Frederic Pages [1]



Urbanization has a great impact on the composition of the vector system and malaria transmission dynamics. In Dakar, some malaria cases are autochthonous but parasite rates and incidences of clinical malaria attacks have been recorded at low levels. Ecological heterogeneity of malaria transmission was investigated in Dakar, in order to characterize the Anopheles breeding sites in the city and to study the dynamics of larval density and adult aggressiveness in ten characteristically different urban areas.


Ten study areas were sampled in Dakar and Pikine. Mosquitoes were collected by human landing collection during four nights in each area (120 person-nights). The Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite (CSP) index was measured by ELISA and the entomological inoculation rates (EIR) were calculated. Open water collections in the study areas were monitored weekly for physico-chemical characterization and the presence of anopheline larvae. Adult mosquitoes and hatched larvae were identified morphologically and by molecular methods.


In September-October 2007, 19,451 adult mosquitoes were caught among which, 1,101 were Anopheles gambiae s.l. The Human Biting Rate ranged from 0.1 bites per person per night in Yoff Village to 43.7 in Almadies. Seven out of 1,101 An. gambiae s.l. were found to be positive for P. falciparum (CSP index = 0.64%). EIR ranged from 0 infected bites per person per year in Yoff Village to 16.8 in Almadies. The An. gambiae complex population was composed of Anopheles arabiensis (94.8%) and Anopheles melas (5.2%). None of the An. melas were infected with P. falciparum. Of the 54 water collection sites monitored, 33 (61.1%) served as anopheline breeding sites on at least one observation. No An. melas was identified among the larval samples. Some physico-chemical characteristics of water bodies were associated with the presence/absence of anopheline larvae and with larval density. A very close parallel between larval and adult densities was found in six of the ten study areas.


The results provide evidence of malaria transmission in downtown Dakar and its surrounding suburbs. Spatial heterogeneity of human biting rates was very marked and malaria transmission was highly focal. In Dakar, mean figures for transmission would not provide a comprehensive picture of the entomological situation; risk evaluation should therefore be undertaken on a small scale.

[1Institut de Médecine Tropicale du Service de Santé des Armées, Marseille, France

[2Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Dakar, Sénégal

[3Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, Toulouse, France

[4Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse, France

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