Spatial-temporal heterogeneity in malaria receptivity is best estimated by vector biting rates in areas nearing elimination
Parasites & Vectors
Decisions on when vector control can be withdrawn after malaria is eliminated depend on the receptivity or potential of an area to support vector populations. To guide malaria control and elimination programmes, the potential of biting rates, sporozoite rates, entomological inoculation rates and parity rates to estimate malaria receptivity and transmission were compared within and among geographically localised villages of active transmission in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands.
... ts: Malaria transmission and transmission potential was heterogeneous in both time and space both among and within villages as defined by anopheline species composition and biting densities. Biting rates during the peak biting period (from 18:00 to 00:00 h) of the primary vector, Anopheles farauti, ranged from less than 0.3 bites per person per half night in low receptivity villages to 26 bites per person in highly receptive villages. Within villages, sites with high anopheline biting rates were significantly clustered. Sporozoite rates provided evidence for continued transmission of Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax and P. ovale by An. farauti and for incriminating An. hinesorum, as a minor vector, but were unreliable as indicators of transmission intensity. Conclusions: In the low transmission area studied, sporozoite, entomological inoculation and parity rates could not be measured with the precision required to provide guidance to malaria programmes. Receptivity and potential transmission risk may be most reliably estimated by the vector biting rate. These results support the meaningful design of operational research programmes to ensure that resources are focused on providing information that can be utilised by malaria control programmes to best understand both transmission, transmission risk and receptivity across different areas.