Models of effectiveness of interventions against malaria transmitted by Anopheles albimanus

Malar J. 2019 Aug 1;18(1):263. doi: 10.1186/s12936-019-2899-3.


Background: Most impact prediction of malaria vector control interventions has been based on African vectors. Anopheles albimanus, the main vector in Central America and the Caribbean, has higher intrinsic mortality, is more zoophilic and less likely to rest indoors. Therefore, relative impact among interventions may be different. Prioritizing interventions, in particular for eliminating Plasmodium falciparum from Haiti, should consider local vector characteristics.

Methods: Field bionomics data of An. albimanus from Hispaniola and intervention effect data from southern Mexico were used to parameterize mathematical malaria models. Indoor residual spraying (IRS), insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), and house-screening were analysed by inferring their impact on the vectorial capacity in a difference-equation model. Impact of larval source management (LSM) was assumed linear with coverage. Case management, mass drug administration and vaccination were evaluated by estimating their effects on transmission in a susceptible-infected-susceptible model. Analogous analyses were done for Anopheles gambiae parameterized with data from Tanzania, Benin and Nigeria.

Results: While LSM was equally effective against both vectors, impact of ITNs on transmission by An. albimanus was much lower than for An. gambiae. Assuming that people are outside until bedtime, this was similar for the impact of IRS with dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) or bendiocarb, and impact of IRS was less than that of ITNs. However, assuming people go inside when biting starts, IRS had more impact on An. albimanus than ITNs. While house-screening had less impact than ITNs or IRS on An. gambiae, it had more impact on An. albimanus than ITNs or IRS. The impacts of chemoprevention and chemotherapy were comparable in magnitude to those of strategies against An. albimanus. Chemo-prevention impact increased steeply as coverage approached 100%, whilst clinical-case management impact saturated because of remaining asymptomatic infections.

Conclusions: House-screening and repellent IRS are potentially highly effective against An. albimanus if people are indoors during the evening. This is consistent with historical impacts of IRS with DDT, which can be largely attributed to excito-repellency. It also supports the idea that housing improvements have played a critical role in malaria control in North America. For elimination planning, impact estimates need to be combined with feasibility and cost-analysis.

Keywords: Anopheles; Elimination; Haiti; Malaria; Plasmodium falciparum.

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Animals
  • Anopheles* / drug effects
  • Anopheles* / growth & development
  • Case Management / statistics & numerical data
  • Communicable Disease Control / methods*
  • Haiti
  • Humans
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Malaria / prevention & control*
  • Malaria Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Mass Drug Administration / statistics & numerical data
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Mosquito Control / methods*
  • Mosquito Vectors*
  • Species Specificity
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data


  • Malaria Vaccines