Background: A study was conducted prior to implementing a cluster randomised controlled trial (CRT) of a lethal house lure strategy in central Côte d’Ivoire and aimed to provide baseline information on malaria vectors in 40 village clusters.
Methods: Human landing catches (HLC) was performed between November-December 2016, capturing mosquitoes indoor and outdoor between 18.00-08.00. Mosquitoes were processed for entomological indicators of malaria transmission (human biting rates, parity rates, sporozoite infection rates and the entomological inoculation rates (EIR)). Species composition and allelic frequencies of Kdr-w and Ace-1R mutations were also investigated within the Anopheles gambiae complex.
Results: Overall, 15,632 mosquitoes were captured. Anopheles gambiae s.l. and Anopheles funestus were the two malaria vectors found during the survey period, with predominance for Anopheles gambiae s.l. (66.2%) compared to Anopheles funestus (10.3%). The mean biting rate for An. gambiae s.l. was almost 5 times higher than that for An. funestus s.l.(19.8 bites per person per night for An. gambiae s. l. vs 4.3 bites per person per night for An. funestus s. l.) and this was evident indoor and outdoor. An. funestus was more competent to transmit malaria parasites in the study area, despite relatively lower number tested for sporozoite index (1.6% (1,373) for An. gambiae vs 4.7 % (722) for An. funestus s.l.).
There was no significant difference between the proportion infected outdoor and indoor for An. gambiae s.l. (1.6% vs 1.5%; OR=1.11[0.65-1.9]; P=0.676), but for An. funestus, more mosquitoes were infected outdoor (6.4%) than indoor (3.5%) (OR=1.86 [1.07-3.23]; P=0.0249). The majority of both infected vectors with malaria parasites harboured P. falciparum (90.6% for An. gambiae s. l. and 97, 8% for An. funestus s. l.). The EIR for both vectors (0.43 infected bites per night) were similar and there were no significant differences for transmission occurring outdoor and indoor for both species. Of the An. gambiae s.l. analysed, only An. gambiae (14.1%) and An. coluzzii (85.9%) were found. The allelic frequencies of Kdr and Ace-1R were higher in An. gambiae (0.97 for Kdr and 0.19 for Ace-1R) than in An. coluzzii (0.86 for Kdr and 0.10 for Ace-1R) (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Despite universal coverage of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) in the area, there was an abundance of malaria vectors in the study in area in central Côte d’Ivoire, specifically highly resistant An. gambiae s.l. as well as An. funestus s.l.. The malaria sporozoite rate was higher in An. funestus s.l than An. gambiae s.l.. but EIR rates in these two species were similarly high, both indoor and outdoor. Novel tools or strategies are urgently needed to further reduce malaria transmission in this area.