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Trop Med Int Health. 2004 Jan;9(1):164-70.

Malaria transmission dynamics at a site in northern Ghana proposed for testing malaria vaccines.

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Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Legon, Accra, Ghana.


We studied the malaria transmission dynamics in Kassena Nankana district (KND), a site in northern Ghana proposed for testing malaria vaccines. Intensive mosquito sampling for 1 year using human landing catches in three micro-ecological sites (irrigated, lowland and rocky highland) yielded 18 228 mosquitoes. Anopheles gambiae s.l. and Anopheles funestus constituted 94.3% of the total collection with 76.8% captured from the irrigated communities. Other species collected but in relatively few numbers were Anopheles pharoensis (5.4%) and Anopheles rufipes (0.3%). Molecular analysis of 728 An. gambiae.s.l. identified Anopheles gambiae s.s. as the most dominant sibling species (97.7%) of the An. gambiae complex from the three ecological sites. Biting rates of the vectors (36.7 bites per man per night) were significantly higher (P<0.05) in the irrigated area than in the non-irrigated lowland (5.2) and rocky highlands (5.9). Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite rates of 7.2% (295/4075) and 7.1% (269/3773) were estimated for An. gambiae s.s. and An. funestus, respectively. Transmission was highly seasonal, and the heaviest transmission occurred from June to October. The intensity of transmission was higher for people in the irrigated communities than the non-irrigated ones. An overall annual entomological inoculation rate (EIR) of 418 infective bites was estimated in KND. There were micro-ecological variations in the EIRs, with values of 228 infective bites in the rocky highlands, 360 in the lowlands and 630 in the irrigated area. Approximately 60% of malaria transmission in KND occurred indoors during the second half of the night, peaking at daybreak between 04.00 and 06.00 hours. Vaccine trials could be conducted in this district, with timing dependent on the seasonal patterns and intensity of transmission taking into consideration the micro-geographical differences and vaccine trial objectives.

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