Seasonal abundance and biting behaviour of Anopheles punctulatus and An.koliensis in Malaita Province, Solomon Islands, and a trial of permethrin impregnated bednets against malaria transmission

Authors


2 30/A Kandawatta Road, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka.

Abstract

Seasonal abundance of the malaria vectors Anopheles punctulatus Donitz and An.koliensis Owen in Bilimanu, an isolated inland village with forty-two houses in Malaita Province of the Solomon Islands, was monitored over 28 months by means of all-night landing/biting catches at one site during June 1985 to September 1987. Totals of 1250 An.punctulatus and 141 An.koliensis were collected, the latter being the largest number of this species ever caught at any locality in the Solomons.

Bednets impregnated with permethrin 0.5 g/m2 were introduced in December 1986 to be used at night by all 190 villagers for protection against malaria vectors. Bioassay tests with An.punctulatus blood-fed females exposed under nets for lOmin resulted in 100% mortality up to 50 weeks post-impregnation.

For An.punctulatus, the main vector species, the mean catch (indoors + outdoors) per man hour was 2.9 (range 0.7–13.2) before a cyclone on 19 May 1986, and, 0.66 (0.2-2.7) after the cyclone. The vector survival rates were usually high before the cyclone, but erratically lower thereafter for An.punctulatus. An.koliensis disappeared after the cyclone.

Both An.punctulatus and An.koliensis consistently showed higher rates of biting man indoors than outdoors and their diel biting cycle showed a peak around midnight. Outdoors, the parous proportion of An.punctulatus was twice the nulliparous, and nearly so indoors.

Following intervention with permethrin-treated bednets, the mean catch of An.punctulatus fell to 0.35 per man-hour (monthly range 0–1.5). The Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection rate reduced from 10% pre-intervention to zero in September 1987, 9 months after intervention, and then rose again.

With re-impregnation of bednets in November 1987, the P.falciparum infection rate was again reduced by March 1988. No effect of treated bednets was observed on the prevalence of P.vivax malaria.

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