Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Field assessments in western Kenya link malaria vectors to environmentally disturbed habitats during the dry season

By John C Carlson, Brian D Byrd and Francois X Omlin


BACKGROUND: Numerous malaria epidemics have occurred in western Kenya, with increasing frequency over the past 20 years. A variety of hypotheses on the etiology of these epidemics have been put forth, with different implications for surveillance and control. We investigated the ecological and socioeconomic factors promoting highland malaria vectors in the dry season after the 2002 epidemic. METHODS: Investigations were conducted in Kisii District during the dry season. Aquatic habitats in were surveyed for presence of malaria vectors. Brick-making pits were further investigated for co-associations of larval densities with emergent vegetation, habitat age, and predator diversity. Indoor spray catches were completed in houses near aquatic habitats. Participatory rural appraisals (PRAs) were conducted with 147 community members. RESULTS: The most abundant habitat type containing Anopheles larvae was brick-making pits. Vegetation and habitat age were positively associated with predator diversity, and negatively associated with mosquito density. Indoor spray catches found that houses close to brick-making sites had malaria vectors, whereas those next to swamps did not. PRAs revealed that brick-making has grown rapidly in highland swamps due to a variety of socioeconomic pressures in the region. CONCLUSION: Brick-making, an important economic activity, also generates dry season habitats for malaria vectors in western Kenya. Specifically, functional brick making pits contain less that 50% as many predator taxa and greater than 50% more mosquito larvae when compared with nearby abandoned brick making pits. Further evaluations of these disturbed, man-made habitats in the wet season may provide information important for malaria surveillance and control

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: BioMed Central
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1186/1471-2458-4-33
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

Suggested articles


  1. (1994). Andre RG: Insecticide resistance issues in vectorborne disease control.
  2. (1999). Architectural features of agricultural habitats and their impact on the spider inhabitants.
  3. (2002). BH: The economic payoffs of integrated malaria control in the Zambian copperbelt between 1930 and 1950. Trop Med Int Health
  4. (1996). Cummins KW: An introduction to the aquatic insects of North America. 3rd edition.
  5. (2002). Denno RF: Intraguild Predation Diminished in Complex-Structured Vegetation: Implications for Prey Suppression. Ecology
  6. (2000). DJ: Etiology of interepidemic periods of mosquito-borne disease.
  7. (2000). Expert Committee on Malaria. World Health Organ Tech Rep Ser
  8. (1998). FJ: Foraging Behavior of Lacewing Larvae (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) on Plants with Divergent Architectures.
  9. (2002). Habitat size: a factor determining the opportunity for encounters between mosquito larvae and aquatic predators.
  10. (2003). Malaria Report.
  11. (1998). Martens WJ: Malaria in the African highlands: past, present and future. Bull World Health Organ
  12. (2001). MoFP: Kisii Central District Development Plan 2002-2008, Effective management for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.
  13. National Malaria Strategy 2001-2010.
  14. (1975). on practical entomology in malaria. Part II. Methods and techniques. Volume 13. Geneva, World Health Organization;
  15. (2002). Petranka JW: Chemicals of predatory mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) influence selection of oviposition site by Culex mosquitoes.
  16. (1995). Regulatory factors affecting larval mosquito populations in container and pool habitats: implications for biological control.
  17. (2002). RW: Defining and detecting malaria epidemics in the highlands of western Kenya. Emerg Infect Dis
  18. (1998). Shanks GD: Reemergence of epidemic malaria in the highlands of western Kenya. Emerg Infect Dis
  19. (2000). Snow RW: Changing patterns of clinical malaria since 1965 among a tea estate population located in the Kenyan highlands. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg
  20. (2002). Snow RW: Climate change and the resurgence of malaria in the East African highlands. Nature
  21. (2002). Snow RW: Clinical epidemiology of malaria in the highlands of western Kenya. Emerg Infect Dis
  22. (2002). Snow RW: Hot topic or hot air? Climate change and malaria resurgence in East African highlands. Trends Parasitol
  23. (2002). Snow RW: Meteorologic influences on Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the Highland Tea Estates of Kericho, Western Kenya. Emerg Infect Dis
  24. (1996). Some emerging issues on the malaria problem in Kenya. East Afr Med J
  25. (1964). The control of epidemic malaria in the highlands of western Kenya. Part III. After the campaign. J Trop Hyg
  26. (1957). The history of malaria in the highlands in Nandi. East Afr Med J
  27. (1948). The incidence of malaria at high altitudes.
  28. (1998). The long interview. Thousand Oaks,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.