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Malar J. 2017 Nov 21;16(1):474. doi: 10.1186/s12936-017-2125-0.

Ivermectin susceptibility, sporontocidal effect, and inhibition of time to re-feed in the Amazonian malaria vector Anopheles darlingi.

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Department of Entomology, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, 315/6 Rajvithi Road, Bangkok, 10400, Thailand.
Entomology Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, 503 Robert Grant Ave, Silver Spring, MD, 20910, USA.
Department of Entomology, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6, Av. Venezuela block 36 s/n, Callao 2, Peru.
Department of Parasitology, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6, Av. Venezuela block 36 s/n, Callao 2, Peru.
Infectious Diseases Directorate, Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, MD, 20910, USA.
Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St., Rm. W5515, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA.



Outdoor malaria transmission hinders malaria elimination efforts in the Amazon region and novel vector control tools are needed. Ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA) to humans kills wild Anopheles, targets outdoor-feeding vectors, and can suppress malaria parasite transmission. Laboratory investigations were performed to determine ivermectin susceptibility, sporontocidal effect and inhibition of time to re-feed for the primary Amazonian malaria vector, Anopheles darlingi.


To assess ivermectin susceptibility, various concentrations of ivermectin were mixed in human blood and fed to An. darlingi. Mosquito survival was monitored daily for 7 days and a non-linear mixed effects model with Probit analysis was used to calculate lethal concentrations of ivermectin that killed 50% (LC50), 25% (LC25) and 5% (LC5) of mosquitoes. To examine ivermectin sporonticidal effect, Plasmodium vivax blood samples were collected from malaria patients and offered to mosquitoes without or with ivermectin at the LC50, LC25 or LC5. To assess ivermectin inhibition of mosquito time to re-feed, concentrations of ivermectin predicted to occur after a single oral dose of 200 μg/kg ivermectin were fed to An. darlingi. Every day for 12 days thereafter, individual mosquitoes were given the opportunity to re-feed on a volunteer. Any mosquitoes that re-blood fed or died were removed from the study.


Ivermectin significantly reduced An. darlingi survivorship: 7-day-LC50 = 43.2 ng/ml [37.5, 48.6], -LC25 = 27.8 ng/ml [20.4, 32.9] and -LC5 = 14.8 ng/ml [7.9, 20.2]. Ivermectin compound was sporontocidal to P. vivax in An. darlingi at the LC50 and LC25 concentrations reducing prevalence by 22.6 and 17.1%, respectively, but not at the LC5. Oocyst intensity was not altered at any concentration. Ivermectin significantly delayed time to re-feed at the 4-h (48.7 ng/ml) and 12-h (26.9 ng/ml) concentrations but not 36-h (10.6 ng/ml) or 60-h (6.3 ng/ml).


Ivermectin is lethal to An. darlingi, modestly inhibits sporogony of P. vivax, and delays time to re-feed at concentrations found in humans up to 12 h post drug ingestion. The LC50 value suggests that a higher than standard dose (400-μg/kg) is necessary to target An. darlingi. These results suggest that ivermectin MDA has potential in the Amazon region to aid malaria elimination efforts.


Amazon; Anopheles darlingi; Ivermectin; Plasmodium vivax

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