Open Access Open Badges Research

Mass drug administration of ivermectin in south-eastern Senegal reduces the survivorship of wild-caught, blood fed malaria vectors

Massamba Sylla1*, Kevin C Kobylinski1*, Meg Gray1, Phillip L Chapman2, Moussa D Sarr3, Jason L Rasgon45 and Brian D Foy1*

Author Affiliations

1 Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

2 Department of Statistics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

3 Ministère de la Santé et de la Prévention Médicale, Dakar, Senegal

4 The W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA

5 The Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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Malaria Journal 2010, 9:365  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-9-365

Published: 20 December 2010



In south-eastern Senegal, malaria and onchocerciasis are co-endemic. Onchocerciasis in this region has been controlled by once or twice yearly mass drug administration (MDA) with ivermectin (IVM) for over fifteen years. Since laboratory-raised Anopheles gambiae s.s. are susceptible to ivermectin at concentrations found in human blood post-ingestion of IVM, it is plausible that a similar effect could be quantified in the field, and that IVM might have benefits as a malaria control tool.


In 2008 and 2009, wild-caught blood fed An. gambiae s.l. mosquitoes were collected from huts of three pairs of Senegalese villages before and after IVM MDAs. Mosquitoes were held in an insectary to assess their survival rate, subsequently identified to species, and their blood meals were identified. Differences in mosquito survival were statistically analysed using a Glimmix model. Lastly, changes in the daily probability of mosquito survivorship surrounding IVM MDAs were calculated, and these data were inserted into a previously developed, mosquito age-structured model of malaria transmission.


Anopheles gambiae s.s. (P < 0.0001) and Anopheles arabiensis (P = 0.0191) from the treated villages had significantly reduced survival compared to those from control villages. Furthermore, An gambiae s.s. caught 1-6 days after MDA in treated villages had significantly reduced survival compared to control village collections (P = 0.0003), as well as those caught pre-MDA (P < 0.0001) and >7 days post-MDA (P < 0.0001). The daily probability of mosquito survival dropped >10% for the six days following MDA. The mosquito age-structured model of malaria transmission demonstrated that a single IVM MDA would reduce malaria transmission (Ro) below baseline for at least eleven days, and that repeated IVM MDAs would result in a sustained reduction in malaria Ro.


Ivermectin MDA significantly reduced the survivorship of An. gambiae s.s. for six days past the date of the MDA, which is sufficient to temporarily reduce malaria transmission. Repeated IVM MDAs could be a novel and integrative malaria control tool in areas with seasonal transmission, and which would have simultaneous impacts on neglected tropical diseases in the same villages.