Ecology of Anopheles stephensi in a Malarious Area, Southeast of Iran
District of Jiroft is situated in south-east of Iran which is one of the malarious regions. Anopheles stephensi is considered as one of the main malaria vector in this region. Ecology of this species was studied in the area to understand its vector behavior for implementation of effective vector control measures. Different methods like total catch, pit shelter, night bite collection on human and animal, larval dipping methods were used for species identification, seasonal activity, anthropophilic index and egg morphological characteristics. Anthropophilicity index was assessed by ELISA test. Activity of Anopheles species started at the beginning of April, and its peak occurs in late spring. The larvae were found in the river bed with pools, stagnant streams, slow foothill streams, temporary pools, and slowly moving water with and without vegetation, drainage containers of air conditioner and palm irrigation canals. From different methods of adult collection, it was found that spray sheet collection is the appropriate method. ELISA testing of 144 blood meals of females revealed the anthropophilicity of 11.8% indicating host preference on animal, mainly cow. Ridge length and their number on the egg floats confirmed Anopheles stephensi mysorensis form. This study showed that Anopheles stephensi is the main vector of malaria in the region, although some other species may play a role. Our findings could provide a valuable clue for epidemiology and control of malaria in the southeast of Iran.
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