Evaluation of vector control is crucial for improving malaria containment and, according to World Health Organization, new complementary indicators would be very valuable. In this study the IgG response to the Anopheles-specific cE5 salivary protein was tested as a tool to evaluate the efficacy of insecticide-treated nets in reducing human exposure to malaria vectors. Sera collected during a longitudinal study carried out in Angola, and including entomological and parasitological data, were used to assess the IgG response to the Anopheles gambiae cE5 in both children and adults, before and after the application of insecticide-treated nets. Seasonal fluctuation of specific IgG antibody levels according to exposure was only found in children (up to ≈ 14 years old) whose anti-cE5 IgG response dropped after bed nets installation. These results were fully consistent with previous findings obtained with the same set of sera and indicating a substantial reduction of human-vector contact shortly after nets implementation. Overall, children IgG response to the cE5 protein appeared a very sensitive biomarker, which allowed for the detection of even weak exposure to Anopheles bites, indicating it may represent a reliable additional tool to evaluate the efficacy of vector control interventions.
Keywords: Anopheles gambiae; Biomarker; Insecticide-treated nets; Malaria; Vector exposure; cE5 salivary protein.
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