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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

High mosquito burden and malaria transmission in a district of the city of Douala, Cameroon

Christophe Antonio-Nkondjio123*, Blaise Defo-Talom14, Romuald Tagne-Fotso5, Billy Tene-Fossog16, Cyrille Ndo15, Leopold Gustave Lehman5, Timoléon Tchuinkam14, Pierre Kengne17 and Parfait Awono-Ambene1

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Paludisme, Organisation de Coordination pour la lutte Contre les Endémies en Afrique Centrale (OCEAC), P.O. Box 288, Yaoundé, Cameroun

2 Vector group, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool, L3 5QA, UK

3 Faculty of Health Sciences University of Bamenda, P.O. Box 39, Bambili, Cameroon

4 Faculty of Sciences University of Dschang, P.O Box 067, Dschang, Cameroun

5 Faculty of Sciences University of Douala, P.O. box 24157, Douala, Cameroon

6 Faculty of Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, P.O. Box 337, Yaoundé, Cameroon

7 Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UMR MIVEGEC (UM1, UM2, CNRS 5290, IRD 224), 911, avenue Agropolis, P.O. Box 64501, Montpellier cedex 5, 34394, France

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:275  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-275

Published: 30 October 2012



Rapid demographic growth in Douala city, Cameroon, has resulted in profound ecological and environmental changes. Although demographic changes can affect anopheline mosquito breeding sites, there is a lack of understanding about the epidemiological impact that such changes might have on vector ecology and malaria transmission.


A 12-month entomological study was conducted in a highly populated district of Douala called Ndogpassi. Adult mosquitoes were collected using two methods: 1) human landing catches (HLC); and 2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light traps; these methods were used twice monthly from January to December 2011. Mosquito genus and species were identified with morphological and molecular diagnostic tools. The sampling efficiency of the CDC light trap and HLC were compared. Anopheles gambiae infection with Plasmodium falciparum was detected using ELISA. Susceptibility to DDT, permethrin, and deltamethrin insecticides were also determined.


A total of 6923 mosquitoes were collected by HLC (5198) and CDC light traps (1725). There was no equivalence in the sampling efficiency between light traps and human landing catches (P > 0.01). With 51% of the total, Culex was the most common, followed by Anopheles (26.14%), Mansonia (22.7%) and Aedes (0.1%). An. gambiae ss (M form) comprised ~98% of the total anophelines collected. An. gambiae had a biting rate of 0.25 to 49.25 bites per human per night, and was the only species found to be infected with P. falciparum. A P. falciparum infection rate of 0.5% was calculated (based on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays using the circumsporozoite surface protein). The entomological inoculation rate was estimated at 31 infective bites per annum. Insecticide susceptibility tests on An. gambiae females revealed a mortality rate of 33%, 76% and 98% for DDT, permethrin and deltamethrin, respectively. The West African kdr allele (L1014F) was detected in 38 of the 61 An. gambiae analyzed (62.3%).


The present study revealed seasonal malaria transmission in Douala. High levels of An. gambiae were detected along with a high prevalence of insecticide resistance in this vector population. These findings highlight the need to promote use of insecticide-impregnated bed nets in Douala.

Malaria; Transmission; Anopheles gambiae; Resistance; Douala; Cameroon