An entomological study on vectors of malaria and their relative contribution to Plasmodium falciparum transmission in the semi-urban area of Ifakara, south-eastern Tanzania, was conducted. A total of 32 houses were randomly sampled from the area and light trap catches (LTC) performed in one room in each house every 2 weeks for 1 year. A total of 147 448 mosquitoes were caught from 789 LTC; 26 134 Anopheles gambiae s.l., 615 A. funestus, 718 other anophelines and 119 981 culicines. More than 60% of the total A. gambiae s.l. were found in five (0.6%) LTCs, with a maximum of 5889 caught in a single trap. Of 505 A. gambiae s.l. speciated by polymerase chain reaction, 91.5% were found to be A. arabiensis. Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests were performed on 10 108 anopheles mosquitoes and 39 (0.38%) were positive. Entomological inoculation rate (EIR) estimates were generated using a standard method and an alternative method that allows the calculation of confidence intervals based on a negative binomial distribution of sporozoite positive mosquitoes. Overall EIR estimates were similar; 31 vs. 29 [95% confidence interval (CI): 19, 44] infectious bites per annum, respectively. The EIR ranged from 4 (95% CI: 1, 17) in the cool season to 108 (95% CI: 69, 170) in the wet season and from 54 (95% CI: 30, 97) in the east of the town to 15 (95% CI: 8, 30) in the town centre. These estimates show large variations over short distances in time and space. They are all markedly lower than those reported from nearby rural areas and for other parts of Tanzania.
- A. gambiae
- Anopheles arabiensis
- Entomological inoculation rate
- Plasmodium falciparum
- Transmission intensity