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Malaria vector dynamics and utilization of insecticide-treated nets in low-transmission setting in Southwest Ethiopia: implications for residual transmission



Understanding the behaviour of local malaria vectors is essential as effectiveness of the commonly used vector-targeted malaria control tools heavily relies on behaviour of the major malaria vectors. This study was conducted to determine species composition, biting behaviour, host preference and infectivity of anopheline mosquitoes, and assess utilization of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) in a low transmission setting in Southwest Ethiopia.


Adult anopheline mosquitoes were collected using human landing catches (HLCs), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light traps (LTs) and Pyrethrum Spray Catches (PSCs) from June 2016 to May 2018 in Kishe, Jimma Zone, Southwest Ethiopia. The anopheline mosquitoes were morphologically identified. Moreover, sub-sample of An. gambiae s.l. was identified to species using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Circum-sporozoite proteins (CSPs) and blood meal sources of the anopheline mosquitoes were tested using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, a cross-sectional survey was conducted to assess ITN utilization by the inhabitants.


A total of 3659 anopheline mosquitoes comprising An. coustani complex (84.4%), An. gambiae s.l. (11.3%), and An. pharoensis and An. squamosus comprising less than 5% were collected. The anopheline mosquitoes showed marked outdoor (67%) and early evening (63%) biting behaviour. An. coustani complex and An. gambiae s.l. were predominantly zoophilic and anthropophilic, respectively. None of the sampled anopheline were CSP-positive. Most of the households (97.8%) owned at least one ITN, with modest usage by the inhabitants (73.4%). ITN usage was significantly higher among under-five children (AOR = 7.9, 95% CI: 4.41-14.03), household heads and spouses (AOR = 4.8, 95% CI: 3.0-7.59), those with sufficient access to ITNs (AOR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.39-2.35), and who were not utilizing alternative mosquito repellents (AOR = 2.2, 95% CI: 1.58-2.99).


The anopheline mosquito species exhibited predominantly outdoor and early evening biting activity. Household ITN coverage was high with slight gap in usage. Vector control interventions should target outdoor and early biting vectors to further suppress the local mosquito population. Moreover, sensitization of the community on consistent use of ITNs is required.

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