The impact of low erythrocyte density in human blood on the fitness and…

Background: Anaemia is a common health problem in the developing world. This condition is characterized by a reduction in erythrocyte density, primarily from malnutrition and/or infectious diseases such as malaria. As red blood cells are the primary source of protein for haematophagous mosquitoes, any reduction could impede the ability of mosquito vectors to transmit malaria by influencing their fitness or that of the parasites they transmit. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of differences in the density of red blood cells in human blood on malaria vector (Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto) fitness. The hypotheses tested are that mosquito vector energetic reserves and fitness are negatively influenced by reductions in the red cell density of host human blood meals commensurate with those expected from severe anaemia.

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The impact of low erythrocyte density in human blood on the fitness and…