Pathology (East Africa)
Introduction: By 2030, more than 50% of the African population will live in urban areas. Controlling malaria reduces the disease burden and further improves economic development. As a complement to treated nets and prompt access to treatment, measures targeted against the larval stage of Anopheles sp. mosquitoes are a promising strategy for urban areas. However, a precise knowledge of the geographic location and potentially of ecological characteristics of breeding sites is of major importance for such interventions.
Methods: In total 151 km2 of central Dar es Salaam, the biggest city of Tanzania, were systematically searched for open mosquito breeding sites. Ecologic parameters, mosquito larvae density and geographic location were recorded for each site. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the key ecological factors explaining the different densities of mosquito larvae.
Results: A total of 405 potential open breeding sites were examined. Large drains, swamps and puddles were associated with no or low Anopheles sp. larvae density. The probability of Anopheles sp. larvae to be present was reduced when water was identified as "turbid". Small breeding sites were more commonly colonized by Anopheles sp. larvae. Further, Anopheles gambiae s.l. larvae were found in highly organically polluted habitats.
Conclusions: Clear ecological characteristics of the breeding requirements of Anopheles sp. larvae could not be identified in this setting. Hence, every stagnant open water body, including very polluted ones, have to be considered as potential malaria vector breeding sites. © 2005 Sattler et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
(2005). Habitat characterization and spatial distribution of Anopheles sp. mosquito larvae in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) during an extended dry period. Malaria Journal, 4(4).
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/eastafrica_fhs_mc_pathol/76