High heterogeneity in the number of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in the bloodmeal of mosquitoes fed on the same host

Parasitology. 2000 Aug;121 ( Pt 2):115-20. doi: 10.1017/s0031182099006277.


To investigate the quantitative distribution of Plasmodiumfalciparum gametocytes into the vector bloodmeal, Anopheles arabiensis mosquitoes were fed on 3 volunteers naturally infected with gametocytes. The content of each mosquito midgut was smeared on a microscope slide and Giemsa stained. The distribution of gametocytes ingested by mosquitoes followed a negative binomial distribution, with apparently constant overdispersion (parameter k +/- S.E. = 3.105 +/- 0.392) for the 3 series. This aggregation of gametocytes in some midguts probably facilitates the conjunction of gametes and fertilization. This suggests that P. falciparum gametocytes in the peripheral blood flow of infected man do not follow an independent, homogeneous pattern but show a significant aggregation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Anopheles / parasitology*
  • Binomial Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors / parasitology*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / transmission*
  • Male
  • Parasitemia / transmission
  • Plasmodium falciparum / growth & development*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Senegal