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Open Access Research

Patterns and seasonality of malaria transmission in the forest-savannah transitional zones of Ghana

Dominic B Dery1, Charles Brown2, Kwaku Poku Asante13, Mohammed Adams1, David Dosoo1, Seeba Amenga-Etego1, Mike Wilson2, Daniel Chandramohan3, Brian Greenwood3 and Seth Owusu-Agyei13*

Author Affiliations

1 Kintampo Health Research Centre, Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Health, P. O. Box 200, Kintampo, Ghana

2 Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

3 Infectious Tropical Diseases Dept. London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK

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Malaria Journal 2010, 9:314  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-9-314

Published: 7 November 2010

Abstract

Background

Knowledge of the local pattern of malaria transmission and the effect of season on transmission is essential for the planning and evaluation of malaria interventions. Therefore, entomological surveys were carried out in the forest-savannah transitional belt of Ghana (Kintampo) from November 2003 to November 2005 in preparation for drug and vaccine trials.

Results

A total of 23,406 mosquitoes were caught from 919 traps over the two-year period (November 2003 to November 2005): 54.3% were Culicines, 36.2% Anopheles funestus, and 9.4% Anopheles gambiae. Infection rates with Plasmodium falciparum were 4.7% and 1.5% for Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus, respectively. Entomological inoculation rates (EIRs) were 269 infective bites per person per year in the first year (November 2003-October 2004) and 231 the following year (November 2004-November 2005). Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) analysis detected only Anopheles gambiae s.s. Nineteen mosquitoes were tested by PCR in the wet season; 16 were S-molecular form, 2 M-molecular form and 1 hybrid (S/M). In the dry season, sixteen mosquitoes were tested; 11 S-molecular form, 2 M-molecular form and 3 S/M hybrids. The frequency of knock down resistance (kdr) genotypes F(R) was 0.60.

Conclusion

The dynamics and seasonal abundance of malaria vectors in the Kintampo area was influenced by micro-ecology, rainfall and temperature patterns. Transmission patterns did not differ significantly between the two years (2004 and 2005) and both Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles funestus were identified as effective vectors. EIR estimates in 2004/2005 were between 231 and 269 infective bites per person per year. The information provided by the study will help in planning intensified malaria control activities as well as evaluating the impact of malaria interventions in the middle belt of Ghana.