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Med Vet Entomol. 1992 Jan;6(1):57-61.

Probing behaviour and sporozoite delivery by Anopheles stephensi infected with Plasmodium berghei.

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Department of Entomology, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331-2907.


We observed that Plasmodium berghei sporozoite-infected Anopheles stephensi was not impaired in its ability to locate blood on a host. When probing rats, infected mosquitoes took as long as non-infected mosquitoes to locate blood. Contrary to previous suggestions, infective mosquitoes delivered sporozoites into mineral oil even after extensively probing a vertebrate host. We observed that, in mosquitoes having probed a host, both the mean number of sporozoites ejected over 3 min into oil (35.9 v. 31.7 sporozoites) and the proportion of mosquitoes delivering sporozoites (60% v. 50%) were similar to mosquitoes not having probed. We then developed a model of sporozoite delivery, taking into account observations that sporozoites are clumped in the lumen of the glands as well as upon delivery, and that output is uneven and inconsistent. We conclude that clumping optimizes transmission, if a threshold of infection exists and the mean number of sporozoites per clump is greater than the threshold.

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