Background: Most hematophagous insects use host odours as chemical cues. The odour components, some physiological parameters and host attractiveness are affected by several conditions, including infection by parasites, e.g., plasmodia and, therefore, change the epidemiological scenario. This study evaluated the attractiveness of individuals with vivax malaria before, during (7 days) and after treatment (14 days) with specific antimalarial drugs. Findings. Mosquito attractiveness to vivax-infected patients was assessed using a vertical olfactometer using the foot as a source of body odour. The ratio of Anopheles darlingi mosquitoes in the lower chamber of the olfactometer was used to calculate the attractiveness, and patient temperature was measured using a digital thermometer. An increased attractiveness was found only in patients bearing vivax gametocytes during the first experiment (early infection) (P < 0.001). Patients in the first experiment tended to have a higher body temperature, but grouping patients into fever and non-fever resulted in a higher attractiveness only in the fever group of gametocyte carriers, suggesting a synergistic effect of temperature and gametocytes in the host attractiveness to A. darlingi. Conclusions: Gametocyte presence and fever in vivax malaria patients increased short distance host attractiveness to An. darlingi. © 2014 Batista et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Batista, E. P. A., Costa, E. F. M., & Silva, A. A. (2014). Anopheles darlingi (Diptera: Culicidae) displays increased attractiveness to infected individuals with Plasmodium vivax gametocytes. Parasites and Vectors, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-7-251