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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1991 Mar-Apr;85(2):175-80.

Feeding behaviour and sporozoite ejection by infected Anopheles stephensi.

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  • 1Department of Medical Parasitology, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites were allowed to feed individually through fresh whole thickness mouse skin. More sporozoites were ejected into the skin in clusters than into the blood. Deposition of sporozoites in the blood was an infrequent occurrence and always coincided with ejection of these stages into the skin--perhaps a spill-over effect. The number of probes before feeding (median 4.5) was not correlated with the sporozoite inoculum (median 8), nor was the number of sporozoites in the glands (median 14,500). However, the number of sporozoite clusters in the skin (median 1) was positively correlated with the inoculum size. The median value of the sporozoite inoculum was 22, when only those mosquitoes that ejected sporozoites were included. When feeding was interrupted and recommended on a new membrane, sporozoite ejection occurred with equal frequency on both occasions. Sporozoites disappeared from the site of bites in living mice within 2 h of feeding. The epidemiological significance of these observations is discussed.

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