Responses of Anopheles gambiae complex mosquitoes to the use of untreated bednets in The Gambia.
Lindsay SW., Shenton FC., Snow RW., Greenwood BM.
Population dynamics of the Anopheles gambiae complex of malaria vector mosquitoes were studied in four small hamlets in The Gambia. Bednets were used to reduce man/vector contact in two of the hamlets. High densities of An. gambiae, sensu lato, were present for only 3-8 weeks during the rainy season, depending on the position of the hamlet within the study area. The proportions of blood-fed mosquitoes caught indoors (83.0%) and existing from houses (11.6%) were lower in hamlets where bednets were used than in hamlets without (96.5% and 33.1% respectively). Fewer of the blood-fed mosquitoes had fed on man in houses where people slept under bednets (68.2%) than in those without (81.5%). However, the average number of infective bites received by children was still greater than one a year in hamlets where bednets were used. Consequently bednets are considered unlikely to be an effective malaria control measure so long as they are untreated with insecticide.