Mosquito exposure and malaria morbidity; a micro-level analysis of household mosquito populations and malaria in a population-based longitudinal cohort in western Kenya.
BACKGROUND: Malaria morbidity is highly overdispersed in the population. Fine-scale differences in mosquito exposure may partially explain this heterogeneity. However, exposure variability has not been related to individual malaria outcomes. METHODS: We established a cohort of 38 households to explore the effect of household-level mosquito exposure and individual insecticide treated net(ITN) use on relative risk(RR) of diagnostically-confirmed malaria. We conducted monthly active surveillance (n=254; 2,624 person-months) and weekly mosquito collection in all households (2,092 household-days of collection). We used molecular techniques to confirm human blood feeding and exposure to infectious mosquitoes. RESULTS: Of 1,494 female anopheles (89.8% Anopheles gambiaes.l.). 88.3% were fed, 51.9% had a human bloodmeal, and 9.2% were sporozoite-infected. 168 laboratory-confirmed malaria episodes were reported (incidence rate 0.064 episodes per person-month at risk, 95% confidence interval [CI]:0.055,0.074). Malaria risk was directly associated with exposure to sporozoite-infected mosquitoes (RR=1.24, 95%CI:1.11,1.38). No direct effect was measured between ITN use and malaria morbidity, however, ITN use did moderate the effect of mosquito exposure on morbidity. CONCLUSIONS: Malaria risk increases linearly with vector density and feeding success for persons with low ITN use. In contrast, malaria risk among high ITN users is consistently low and insensitive to variation in mosquito exposure.
O'Meara, WP; Simmons, R; Bullins, P; Freedman, B; Abel, L; Mangeni, J; Taylor, SM; Obala, AA
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