Temperature-Dependent Pre-Bloodmeal Period and Temperature-Driven Asynchrony between Parasite Development and Mosquito Biting Rate Reduce Malaria Transmission Intensity

Krijn P. Paaijmans, Lauren J. Cator, Matthew B. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

A mosquito needs to bite at least twice for malaria transmission to occur: once to acquire parasites and, after these parasites complete their development in their mosquito host, once to transmit the parasites to the next vertebrate host. Here we investigate the relationship between temperature, parasite development, and biting frequency in a mosquito-rodent malaria model system. We show that the pre-bloodmeal period (the time lag between mosquito emergence and first bloodmeal) increases at lower temperatures. In addition, parasite development time and feeding exhibit different thermal sensitivities such that mosquitoes might not be ready to feed at the point at which the parasite is ready to be transmitted. Exploring these effects using a simple theoretical model of human malaria shows that delays in infection and transmission can reduce the vectorial capacity of malaria mosquitoes by 20 to over 60%, depending on temperature. These delays have important implications for disease epidemiology and control, and should be considered in future transmission models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere55777
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 31 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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