Malaria vectorial capacity of a population of Anopheles gambiae: an exercise in epidemiological entomology

Bull World Health Organ. 1969 Apr;40(4):531-45.


In order to assess the factors of malaria vectorial capacity and the daily reproduction rate, separate consideration is given to data from Kankiya, Northern Nigeria, concerning the incidence of vector-man contact (the man-biting rate), the vector's expectation of infective life, as reflected by the proportion of parous mosquitos under certain conditions, and the vector's man-biting habit, comprising the frequency of feeding and the human blood index. The main difficulty in the assessment of each of these factors was shown to be that of representative and adequate sampling, especially in a sprayed area. In order to compensate for deficiencies in the Kankiya data, especially with regard to the daily and cyclic survival-rates, the gonotrophic cycle and the effective sporogonic period, more complete published data on an Anopheles gambiae population in East Africa were examined, and extrapolations were made from these data in spite of the consequential risks involved.The results of the analysis show that the spraying of an area with DDT reduced the malaria vectorial capacity of Anopheles gambiae sp. B (the main vector of Plasmodium falciparum in the area) by an over-all factor of about 23 times. Nevertheless the basic reproduction rate of the disease is estimated to have averaged slightly over 20 in the sprayed area during the 6 months of the main transmission season. This is consistent with an observed recovery in the parasite rate, which had been reduced to a very low level by regular mass drug administration through the preceding dry season.The analysis was a tentative exercise in "epidemiological entomology" and it is suggested that in the postgraduate teaching of tropical hygiene, the epidemiological approach to entomology should be preferred to the classical morphological-bionomical approach.

MeSH terms

  • Anopheles*
  • DDT / pharmacology
  • Ecology*
  • Entomology
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors*
  • Malaria / prevention & control*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Nigeria


  • DDT