Parasitology Research

, Volume 110, Issue 1, pp 61–71 | Cite as

Mosquito species abundance and diversity in Malindi, Kenya and their potential implication in pathogen transmission

  • Joseph M. MwangangiEmail author
  • Janet Midega
  • Samuel Kahindi
  • Laban Njoroge
  • Joseph Nzovu
  • John Githure
  • Charles M. Mbogo
  • John C. Beier
Original Paper


Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are important vectors of human disease-causing pathogens. Mosquitoes are found both in rural and urban areas. Deteriorating infrastructure, poor access to health, water and sanitation services, increasing population density, and widespread poverty contribute to conditions that modify the environment, which directly influences the risk of disease within the urban and peri-urban ecosystem. The objective of this study was to evaluate the mosquito vector abundance and diversity in urban, peri-urban, and rural strata in Malindi along the Kenya coast. The study was conducted in the coastal district of Malindi between January and December 2005. Three strata were selected which were described as urban, peri-urban, and rural. Sampling was done during the wet and dry seasons. Sampling in the wet season was done in the months of April and June to cover the long rainy season and in November and December to cover the short rainy season, while the dry season was between January and March and September and October. Adult mosquito collection was done using Pyrethrum Spray Collection (PSC) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light traps inside houses and specimens were identified morphologically. In the three strata (urban, peri-urban, and rural), 78.5% of the total mosquito (n = 7,775) were collected using PSC while 18.1% (n = 1,795) were collected using the CDC light traps. Using oviposition traps, mosquito eggs were collected and reared in the insectary which yielded 329 adults of which 83.8% (n = 276) were Aedes aegypti and 16.2% (n = 53) were Culex quinquefasciatus. The mosquito distribution in the three sites varied significantly in each collection site. Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles funestus and Anopheles coustani were predominant in the rural stratum while C. quinquefasciatus was mostly found in urban and peri-urban strata. However, using PSC and CDC light trap collection techniques, A. aegypti was only found in urban strata. In the three strata, mosquitoes were mainly found in high numbers during the wet season. Further, A. gambiae, C. quinquefasciatus, and A. aegypti mosquitoes were found occurring together inside the houses. This in turn exposes the inhabitants to an array of mosquito-borne diseases including malaria, bancroftian filariasis, and arboviruses (dengue fever, Yellow fever, Rift Valley fever, Chikungunya fever, and West Nile Virus). In conclusion, our findings provide useful information for the design of integrated mosquito and disease control programs in East African environments.


Malaria West Nile Virus Mosquito Species Light Trap Adult Mosquito 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to Rosemary Wamae, Gabriel Nzai, Festus Yaa, and Shida David for help in field collections. We acknowledge the communities in the villages for giving their consent for our field team to work in their villages and houses. This work was supported by EHP grant and NIH Exploratory Centers grant (P20 RR020770). Dr. Beier was also partially supported by the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy, University of Miami. Additional support was by the Biovision Foundation of Switzerland through International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE). This paper has been published with the permission of the Director of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the Director General of ICIPE.


  1. AfrolNews (2007) Rift Valley fever kills over 100 in Tanzania. Accessed 12 April 2010
  2. Beier JC, Perkins PV, Wirtz RA, Whitmire RE, Mugambi M, Hockmeyer WT (1987) Field evaluation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite detection in anopheline mosquitoes from Kenya. Am J Trop Med Hyg 36:459–468PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Beier JC, Odago WA, Onyango FK, Asiago CM, Koech DK, Roberts CR (1990) Relative abundance and blood feeding behaviour of nocturnally active culicine mosquitoes in western Kenya. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 6:207–212PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Beier JC, Oster CN, Onyango FK, Bales JD, Sharwood JA, Perkins PV, Chumo DK, Koech DK, Whitmire RE, Roberts CR, Diggs CL, Hoffman SL (1994) Plasmodium falciparum incidences relative to entomologic inoculation rates at a site proposed for testing malaria vaccines in Western Kenya. Am J Trop Med Hyg 50:529–536PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. CDC (2007) Rift Valley fever outbreak—Kenya, November 2006–January 2007. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 56:73–76Google Scholar
  6. Chretien J-P, Anyamba A, Bedno SA, Breiman RF, Sang RC, Sergon K, Powers AM, Onyango CO, Small J, Tucker CJ, Lincithicum K (2007) Drought-associated chikungunya emergence along coastal East Africa. Am J Trop Med Hyg 76:405–407PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Diallo M, Nabeth P, Ba K, Sall AA, Mondo M, Girault L, Abdulahi MO, Mathiot C (2005) Mosquito vectors of the 1998–1999 outbreak of Rift Valley fever and other arboviruses (Bagaza, Sanar, Wesselsbron and West Nile) in Mauritania and Senegal. Med Vet Entomol 19:119–126PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Donnelly MJ, McCall PJ, Lengeler C, Bates I, D'Alessandro U, Barnish G, Konradsen F, Klinkenberg E, Townson H, Trape JF, Hastings IM, Mutero C (2005) Malaria and urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa. Malar J 4:12PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Edwards F (1941) Mosquitoes of the Ethiopian region. III. Culicine adults and pupae. British Museum (Nat. Hist.), LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Faye O, Diallo M, Diop D, Bezeid OE, Ba H, Niang M, Dia I, Mohammed SAO, Ndiaye K, Diallo D, Ly PO, Diallo B, Nabeth P, Simon F, Lo B, Diop OM (2007) Rift Valley fever outbreak with East-Central African virus lineage in Mauritania, 2003. Emerg Infect Dis 13:1016–1023PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Fontenille D, Traore-Lamizana M, Diallo M, Thonnon J, Digoutte J, Zeller H (1998) New vector of Rift Valley fever in West Africa. Emerg Infect Dis 4:289–293PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gillies MT, Coetzee M (1987) A supplement to anophelinae of Africa south of Sahara (Afro-tropical region). Publ S Afr Inst Med Res 55:1–143Google Scholar
  13. Githeko AK, Service MW, Mbogo CM, Atieli FK, Juma FO (1993) Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite and entomological inoculation rates at the Ahero rice irrigation scheme and the Miwani sugar-belt in Western Kenya. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 87:379–391Google Scholar
  14. Gordon S, Tammariello R, Lincithicum K, Dohm D, Digoutte J, Calvo-Wilson M (1992) Arbovirus isolations from mosquitoes collected during 1988 in the Senegal River basin. Am J Trop Med Hyg 47:742–748PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Grimm NB, Grove JM, Pickett ST, Redman CL (2000) Integrated approaches to long-term studies of urban ecological systems. Bioscience 50:571–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gu W, Killeen GF, Mbogo CM, Regens JL, Githure JI, Beier JC (2003) An individual-based model of Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission on the coast of Kenya. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 97:43–50PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hassan A, Narayanan V, Salmah M (1993) Observations on the physico-chemical factors of the breeding habitats of Culex quinquefasciatus Say, 1823 (Diptera: Culicidae) in towns of north western Peninsular Malaysia. Ann Med Entomol 2:1–5Google Scholar
  18. Hay SI, Guerra CA, Tatem AJ, Atkinson PM, Snow RW (2005) Urbanization, malaria transmission and disease burden in Africa. Nat Rev Microbiol 3:81–90PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hyams KC, Oldfield EC III, Scott RM (1986) Evaluation of febrile patients in Port Sudan, Sudan: isolation of dengue virus. Am J Trop Med Hyg 35:860–865PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Kabiru EW, Mbogo CM, Muiruri SK, Ouma JH, Githure JI, Beier JC (1997) Sporozoite loads of naturally infected Anopheles in Kilifi District, Kenya. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 13:259–262PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Keating J, Macintyre K, Mbogo CM, Githeko A, Regens JL, Swalm C, Ndenga B, Steinberg LJ, Kibe L, Githure JI, Beier JC (2003) A geographic sampling strategy for studying relationships between human activity and malaria vectors in urban Africa. Am J Trop Med Hyg 68:357–365PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Keating J, Macintyre K, Mbogo CM, Githure JI, Beier JC (2004) Characterization of potential larval habitats for Anopheles mosquitoes in relation to urban land-use in Malindi, Kenya. Int J Hlth Geog 3(1):9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Keating J, Mbogo CM, Mwangangi J, Nzovu JG, Gu W, Regens JL, Yan G, Githure JI, Beier JC (2005) Anopheles gambiae s.l. and Anopheles funestus mosquito distributions at 30 villages along the Kenyan Coast. J Med Entomol 42:241–246PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Keiser J, Utzinger J, Castro MC, Smith TA, Tanner M, Singer BH (2004) Urbanization in sub-saharan Africa and implication for malaria control. Am J Trop Med Hyg 71:118–127PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (2009) The 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census, volume 1A: population distribution by administrative units. Government of Kenya, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  26. Khaemba BM, Mutani A, Bett MK (1994) Studies of anopheline mosquitoes transmitting malaria in a newly developed highland urban area: a case study of Moi university and its environs. East Afr Med J 71:159–164PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Lindsay SW, Egwang T, Kabuye F, Mutambo T, Matwale GK (2004) Community based environmental management programme for malaria control in Kampala and Jinja. Report #122. Uganda Environmental Health Project Activity, Arlington, VAGoogle Scholar
  28. Logan T, Lincithicum K, Thande P, Wagateh J, Roberts C (1991) Mosquito species collected from a marsh in Western Kenya during the long rains. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 7:395–399PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Macintyre K, Keating J, Sosler S, Kibe L, Mbogo CM, Githeko AK, Beier JC (2002) Examining the determinants of mosquito-avoidance practices in two Kenyan cities. Malar J 1:14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Magurran AE (1988) Ecological diversity and its measurement. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJGoogle Scholar
  31. Mbogo CM, Snow RW, Kabiru E, Ouma JH, Githure JI, Marsh K, Beier J (1993a) Low-level Plasmodium falciparum transmission and the incidence of severe malaria infection on the Kenyan Coast. Am J Trop Med 49:245–253Google Scholar
  32. Mbogo CNM, Kabiru EW, Muiruri SK, Nzovu JM, Ouma JH, Githure JI, Beier JC (1993b) Bloodfeeding behaviour of Anopheles gambiae s.l. and Anopheles funestus in Kilifi district, Kenya. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 9:225–227PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Mbogo CNM, Snow RW, Khamala CPM, Kabiru EW, Ouma JH, Githure JI, Marsh K, Beier JC (1995) Relationships between Plasmodium falciparum transmission by vector populations and the incidence of severe disease at nine sites on the Kenyan coast. Am J Trop Hyg 52:201–206Google Scholar
  34. Mbogo CM, Mwangangi JM, Nzovu J, Gu W, Yan G, Gunter J, Swalm C, Keating J, Regens JL, Shililu JI, Githure JI, Beier JC (2003) Spatial and temporal heterogeneity of Anopheles mosquitoes and Plasmodium falciparum transmission along the Kenyan coast. Am J Trop Med Hyg 68:734–742PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Midega JT, Nzovu J, Kahindi S, Sang RC, Mbogo C (2006) Application of the pupal/demographic-survey methodology to identify the key container habitats of Aedes aegypti (L.) in Malindi district, Kenya. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 100:S61–S72PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Minakawa N, Mutero CM, Githure JI, Beier JC, Yan G (1999) Spatial distribution and habitat characterisation of anopheline mosquito larvae in western Kenya. Am J Trop Med Hyg 61:1010–1016PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Muturi JE, Mbogo C, Mwangangi J, Ng'ang'a Z, Kabiru E, Mwandawiro C, Beier JC (2006) Concomitant infections of Plasmodium falciparum and Wuchereria bancrofti on the Kenyan coast. Filaria J 5:8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mwandawiro C, Fujimaki Y, Mitsui Y, Katsivo M (1997) Mosquito vectors of bancroftian filariasis in Kwale district Kenya. East Afr Med J 74:288–293PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Mwangangi JM, Mbogo CM, Nzovu JG, Kabiru EW, Mwambi H, Githure JI, Beier JC (2004) Relationships between body size of Anopheles mosquitoes and Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite rates along the Kenya Coast. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 20:390–394PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Mwangangi JM, Mbogo CM, Muturi EJ, Kabiru EW, Githure JI, Novak RJ, Beier JC (2007) The influence of biological and physicochemical characteristics of larval habitat on the body size of Anopheles gambiae (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquitoes. J Vector Born Dis 44:121–126Google Scholar
  41. Mwangangi JM, Kahindi SC, Kibe LW, Nzovu JG, Luethy P, Githure JI, Mbogo CM (2010) Wide-scale application of Bti/Bs biolarvicide in different aquatic habitat types in urban and peri-urban Malindi, Kenya. Parasitol Res. Aug 21Google Scholar
  42. Nichter M, Kendall C (1991) Beyond child survival: antthropology and international health in the 1990s. Med Anthro Q 5(3):195–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Noor AM, Amin AA, Akhwale WS, Snow RW (2007) Increasing coverage and decreasing inequity in insecticide-treated bed net use among rural Kenyan children. PLoS Med 4:e255PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Noor AM, Mutheu JJ, Tatem AJ, Hay SI, Snow RW (2008) Insecticide-treated net coverage in Africa: mapping progress in 2000–07. Lancet. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61596-2 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Omumbo JA, Guerra CA, Hay SI, Snow RW (2005) The influence of urbanisation on measures of Plasmodium falciparum infection prevalence in East Africa. Acta Trop 93:11–21PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Paskewitz SM, Collins FH (1990) Use of the polymerase chain reaction to identify mosquito species of the Anopheles gambiae complex. Med Vet Entomol 4:367–373PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Reisen WK, Siddiqui TF, Aslamkhan M, Malik GM (1981) Larval interspecific associations and physico-chemical realtionships between the ground water breeding mosquitoes of Lahore. Pak J Sci Res 3:1–23Google Scholar
  48. Reiter P, Cordellier R, Ouma JO, Bruce Cropp C, Savage HM, Sanders EJ, Marfin AA, Tukei PM, Agata NN, Gitau LG, Rapuoda BA, Gubler DJ (1998) First recorded outbreak of Yellow fever in Kenya, 1992–1993. II. Entomologic investigations. Am J Trop Med 59:650–656Google Scholar
  49. Robert V, Awono-Ambene HP, Thioulouse J (1998) Ecology of larval mosquitoes, with special reference to Anopheles arabiensis (Diptera: Culcidae) in market-garden wells in urban Dakar, Senegal. J Med Entomol 35:948–955PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Rosenweig ML (1995) Species diversity in space and time. Cambridge University Press, New York, NYCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Saleh AS, Hassan A, Scott RM, Mellick PW, Oldfield EC III, Podgore JK (1985) Dengue in north-east Africa. Lancet 2:211–212PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sanders EJ, Marfin AA, Tukei PM, Kuria G, Ademba G, Agata NN, Ouma JO, Cropp CB, Karabatsos N, Reiter P, Moore PS, Gubler DJ (1998) First recorded outbreak of Yellow Fever in Kenya, 1992–1993. I. Epidemiologic investigations. Am J Trop Med Hyg 59:644–649PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Scott JA, Brodgon WG, Collins FH (1993) Identification of single specimens of Anopheles gambiae complex by polymerase chain reaction. Am J Trop Med Hyg 49:520–529PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Shililu JI, Maier WA, Seitz HM, Orago AS (1998) Seasonal density, sporozoite rates and entomological inoculation rates of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus in a high-altitude sugarcane growing zone in western Kenya. Trop Med Int Hlth 3:706–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Shililu J, Ghebremeskel T, Seulu F, Mengistu S, Fekadu H, Zerom M, Ghebregziabiher A, Sintasath D, Bretas G, Mbogo C, Githure J, Brantly E, Novak R, Beier JC (2003) Larval habitat diversity and ecology of anopheline larvae in Eritrea. J Med Entomol 40:921–929PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. WHO (1975) Manual on practical entomology in malaria. Part II. Methods and techniques. World Health Organization Offset Publication, Geneva, No. 13Google Scholar
  57. WHO (2004) Global strategic framework for integrated vector management. Document WHO/CDS/CPE/PVC/2004.10. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  58. WHO (2006) Disease outbreak news: chikungunya and dengue in the south west Indian Ocean. Available from: http:/ Accessed 12 April 2010
  59. WHO (2007) Rift Valley fever in Kenya, Somalia and the United Republic of Tanzania. Available from: Accessed 12 April 2010
  60. Wijers DJB (1977a) Bancroftian filariasis in Kenya. I. Prevalence survey among adult males in the Coast Province. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 71:313–330PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Wijers DJB (1977b) Bancroftian filariasis in Kenya. IV. Disease distribution and transmission dynamics. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 71:451–463Google Scholar
  62. Wijers DJB, Kaleli N (1984) Bancroftian filariasis in Kenya. V. Mass treatment given by members of the local community. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 78:383–394PubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Wijers DJB, Kiilu G (1977) Bancroftian filariasis in Kenya. III. Entomological investigations in Mambrui, a small coastal town, and Jaribuni, a rural area more inland (Coast Province). Ann Trop Med Parasitol 71:347–359PubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Wijers DJB, Kinyanjui H (1977) Bancroftian filariasis in Kenya. II. Clinical and parasitological investigations in Mabrui, a small coastal town, and Jaribuni, a rural area more inland (Coast Province). Ann Trop Med Parasitol 71:333–345PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Wijers DJB, McMahon JE (1976) Early signs and symptoms of bacroftian filariasis in males at the East African Coast. East Afr Med J 53:57–63PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Woods CW, Karpati AM, Grein T, McCarthy N, Gaturuku P, Muchiri E, Dunster L, Henderson A, Khan AS, Swanepoel R, Bonmarin I, Martin L, Mann P, Smoak BL, Ryan M, Ksiazek TG, Arthur RR, Ndikuyeze A, Agata NN, Peters CJ, WHO Haemorhagic Fever Task Force1 (2002) An outbreak of Rift Valley fever in Northeastern Kenya, 1997–98. Emerg Infect Dis 8:138–144PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph M. Mwangangi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Janet Midega
    • 1
  • Samuel Kahindi
    • 1
  • Laban Njoroge
    • 1
  • Joseph Nzovu
    • 1
  • John Githure
    • 2
  • Charles M. Mbogo
    • 1
  • John C. Beier
    • 3
  1. 1.Kenya Medical Research InstituteCentre for Geographic Medicine Research CoastKilifiKenya
  2. 2.International Centre of Insect Physiology and EcologyNairobiKenya
  3. 3.Global Public Health Program, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, and the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and PolicyUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA

Personalised recommendations