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Med Vet Entomol. 1991 Jan;5(1):63-70.

Quantitation of malaria sporozoites in the salivary glands of wild Afrotropical Anopheles.

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Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi.


The number of malaria sporozoites in the salivary glands was determined microscopically for 1137 wild, naturally infected Anopheles from western Kenya. Infective Anopheles gambiae Giles sensu lato (n = 874) contained a geometric mean (GM) of 962 sporozoites and An.funestus Giles (n = 263) contained 812. No significant differences were detected in geometric mean numbers of sporozoites between species, collection techniques or sites. Of the infective An.gambiae, 1.7% (15/874) contained more than 41,830 sporozoites, the maximum observed for An.funestus. Microscopic techniques were found to be more sensitive than enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) for detecting low-grade sporozoite infections in salivary glands. Salivary gland sporozoites from 83.6% of the 1137 gland infections were identified by ELISA as either Plasmodium falciparum Welch (n = 910), P.ovale Stephens (n = 7), P.malariae Grassi & Feletti (n = 3) or mixed (n = 30). The 187 gland infections which could not be identified by ELISA contained significantly fewer sporozoites (GM = 242) than those which could be identified (GM = 1200).

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