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Open Access Research

The ecology of mosquitoes in an irrigated vegetable farm in Kumasi, Ghana: abundance, productivity and survivorship

Yaw A Afrane12*, Bernard W Lawson3, Ruth Brenya4, Thomas Kruppa2 and Guiyun Yan5

Author Affiliations

1 School of Health Sciences, Bondo University College, Bondo, Kenya

2 Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research into Tropical Medicine, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

3 Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

4 School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

5 Program in Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of California, Irvine, CA, 92697, USA

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Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:233  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-233

Published: 15 October 2012

Abstract

Background

Irrigated vegetable farms within the city of Kumasi, Ghana, create hotspots for the breeding of malaria vectors, which could lead to high transmission of malaria. This study investigated the abundance and productivity of mosquitoes in an irrigated vegetable farm in Kumasi, Ghana.

Methods

Adult mosquito productivity was estimated five days in a week in different irrigated scheme types (dug-out wells, furrows and footprints) for 12 weeks using emergence traps. Larval sampling was done five days a week to estimate the abundance of larvae from the different irrigated schemes types.

Results

Mosquito breeding in the irrigated vegetable field was confined to dug-out wells, furrows and human footprints. Mosquito productivity (m2/week) was highest in the dugout wells followed by the human footprints and the least was in the furrows (11.23, 5.07 and 4.34 An. gambiae/m2/week). Larval abundance for the late instars (3rd, 4th and pupae) also followed the same trend, with the dug-out wells having the highest larval abundance followed by the human footprints and then the furrows (13.24, 6.81, 5.87 larvae/week). Mosquito productivity and abundance was negatively correlated with rainfall (R2 = 0.209; P< 0.01).

Conclusion

This study showed that adult and larval mosquito abundance and larval survival were high in the irrigated fields in the irrigated vegetable farm. This therefore, contributed significantly to adult mosquito populations and hence malaria transmission in the city.

Keywords:
Urban malaria; Irrigated farms; Anopheles gambiae; Mosquito productivity; Kumasi; Ghana