Mosquito species abundance and diversity in Malindi, Kenya and their potential implication in pathogen transmission.
Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are important vectors of human disease-causing pathogens. Mosquitoes are found both in rural and urban areas. Deteriorating infrastructure, poor access to health, water and sanitation services, increasing population density, and widespread poverty contribute to conditions that modify the environment, which directly influences the risk of disease within the urban and peri-urban ecosystem. The objective of this study was to evaluate the mosquito vector abundance and diversity in urban, peri-urban, and rural strata in Malindi along the Kenya coast. The study was conducted in the coastal district of Malindi between January and December 2005. Three strata were selected which were described as urban, peri-urban, and rural. Sampling was done during the wet and dry seasons. Sampling in the wet season was done in the months of April and June to cover the long rainy season and in November and December to cover the short rainy season, while the dry season was between January and March and September and October. Adult mosquito collection was done using Pyrethrum Spray Collection (PSC) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light traps inside houses and specimens were identified morphologically. In the three strata (urban, peri-urban, and rural), 78.5% of the total mosquito (n?=?7,775) were collected using PSC while 18.1% (n?=?1,795) were collected using the CDC light traps. Using oviposition traps, mosquito eggs were collected and reared in the insectary which yielded 329 adults of which 83.8% (n?=?276) were Aedes aegypti and 16.2% (n?=?53) were Culex quinquefasciatus. The mosquito distribution in the three sites varied significantly in each collection site. Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles funestus and Anopheles coustani were predominant in the rural stratum while C. quinquefasciatus was mostly found in urban and peri-urban strata. However, using PSC and CDC light trap collection techniques, A. aegypti was only found in urban strata. In the three strata, mosquitoes were mainly found in high numbers during the wet season. Further, A. gambiae, C. quinquefasciatus, and A. aegypti mosquitoes were found occurring together inside the houses. This in turn exposes the inhabitants to an array of mosquito-borne diseases including malaria, bancroftian filariasis, and arboviruses (dengue fever, Yellow fever, Rift Valley fever, Chikungunya fever, and West Nile Virus). In conclusion, our findings provide useful information for the design of integrated mosquito and disease control programs in East African environments.