The resting sites and blood-meal sources of Anopheles minimus in Taiwan
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The resting sites and blood-meal sources of Anopheles minimus in Taiwan

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  • Alternative Title:
    Malar J
  • Description:
    Background The WHO declared Taiwan free from malaria in 1965, but in 2003 the reporting of two introduced cases in a rural area suggested a possible local transmission of this disease. Therefore, understanding the resting sites and the blood sources of Anopheles minimus is crucial in order to provide information for implementing vector control strategies. Methods During a two-year survey, mosquitoes were collected in houses and their surrounding areas and at the bank of larval habitats by backpack aspirators in 17 villages in rural areas of southern and eastern Taiwan for 1 hr. On the same day, blacklight traps were hung downward overnight. Blood-fed mosquito samples were analysed by PCR. Results Of the 195 total households surveyed by backpack aspirators, no Anopheles adults were collected inside the houses, while a single Anopheles minimus and a single Anopheles maculatus were collected outside of the houses. On the same day, 23 An. minimus, two An. maculatus, two Anopheles ludlowae, two Anopheles sinensis, and one Anopheles tessellatus were collected along the bank of larval habitats. In blacklight traps hung outside of the houses in the villages, 69 An. minimus, 62 An. ludlowae, 31 An. sinensis, and 19 An. maculatus were collected. In larval habitats, 98 An. ludlowae, 64 An. minimus, 49 An. sinensis, and 14 An. maculatus were collected. Of a total of 10 blood-fed samples, An. minimus fed on four animals including bovine (60%), dogs (20%), pig (10%), and non-chicken avian (10%). Conclusion Anopheles minimus, an opportunist feeder in Taiwan, was not collected inside the houses, but was found outside of the houses in villages and surrounding larval habitats. Therefore, an outdoor transmission of malaria is likely to occur and, thus, the bed nets, which are favoured for controlling the late biting of An. minimus, should be a very efficient and effective method for those local residents who sleep outdoors. Additionally, space spray of insecticides for Anopheles at night, as well as residual spray inside animal huts and selective larval habitats, are also helpful to control female adults.
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