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The dominant Anopheles vectors of human malaria in Africa, Europe and the Middle East: occurrence data, distribution maps and bionomic précis

Marianne E Sinka1*, Michael J Bangs2, Sylvie Manguin3, Maureen Coetzee45, Charles M Mbogo6, Janet Hemingway7, Anand P Patil1, Will H Temperley1, Peter W Gething1, Caroline W Kabaria8, Robi M Okara8, Thomas Van Boeckel19, H Charles J Godfray1, Ralph E Harbach10 and Simon I Hay18*

Author Affiliations

1 Spatial Ecology and Epidemiology Group, Tinbergen Building, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK

2 Public Health and Malaria Control Department, PT Freeport Indonesia, Kuala Kencana, Papua, Indonesia

3 Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Lab. d'Immuno-Physiopathologie Moléculaire Comparée, UMR-MD3/Univ. Montpellier I, Faculté de Pharmacie, 15, Ave Charles Flahault, 34093 Montpellier, France

4 Malaria Entomology Research Unit, School of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

5 Vector Control Reference Unit, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, Private Bag X4, Sandringham 2131, Johannesburg, South Africa

6 KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Programme, Centre for Geographic Medicine Research - Coast, Kilifi, Kenya

7 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK

8 Malaria Public Health and Epidemiology Group, Centre for Geographic Medicine, KEMRI - Univ. Oxford - Wellcome Trust Collaborative Programme, Kenyatta National Hospital Grounds, P.O. Box 43640-00100 Nairobi, Kenya

9 Biological Control and Spatial Ecology, Université Libre de Bruxelles CP160/12, Av FD Roosevelt 50, B1050, Brussels, Belgium

10 Department of Entomology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK

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Parasites & Vectors 2010, 3:117  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-3-117

Published: 3 December 2010

Abstract

Background

This is the second in a series of three articles documenting the geographical distribution of 41 dominant vector species (DVS) of human malaria. The first paper addressed the DVS of the Americas and the third will consider those of the Asian Pacific Region. Here, the DVS of Africa, Europe and the Middle East are discussed. The continent of Africa experiences the bulk of the global malaria burden due in part to the presence of the An. gambiae complex. Anopheles gambiae is one of four DVS within the An. gambiae complex, the others being An. arabiensis and the coastal An. merus and An. melas. There are a further three, highly anthropophilic DVS in Africa, An. funestus, An. moucheti and An. nili. Conversely, across Europe and the Middle East, malaria transmission is low and frequently absent, despite the presence of six DVS. To help control malaria in Africa and the Middle East, or to identify the risk of its re-emergence in Europe, the contemporary distribution and bionomics of the relevant DVS are needed.

Results

A contemporary database of occurrence data, compiled from the formal literature and other relevant resources, resulted in the collation of information for seven DVS from 44 countries in Africa containing 4234 geo-referenced, independent sites. In Europe and the Middle East, six DVS were identified from 2784 geo-referenced sites across 49 countries. These occurrence data were combined with expert opinion ranges and a suite of environmental and climatic variables of relevance to anopheline ecology to produce predictive distribution maps using the Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) method.

Conclusions

The predicted geographic extent for the following DVS (or species/suspected species complex*) is provided for Africa: Anopheles (Cellia) arabiensis, An. (Cel.) funestus*, An. (Cel.) gambiae, An. (Cel.) melas, An. (Cel.) merus, An. (Cel.) moucheti and An. (Cel.) nili*, and in the European and Middle Eastern Region: An. (Anopheles) atroparvus, An. (Ano.) labranchiae, An. (Ano.) messeae, An. (Ano.) sacharovi, An. (Cel.) sergentii and An. (Cel.) superpictus*. These maps are presented alongside a bionomics summary for each species relevant to its control.