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Reduced mosquito survival in metal-roof houses may contribute to a decline in malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa.

Lindsay, Steve W. and Jawara, Musa and Mwesigwa, Julia and Achan, Jane and Bayoh, Nabie and Bradley, John and Kandeh, Balla and Kirby, Matthew J. and Knudsen, Jakob and Macdonald, Mike and Pinder, Margaret and Tusting, Lucy S. and Weiss, Dan J. and Wilson, Anne L. and D’Alessandro, Umberto (2019) 'Reduced mosquito survival in metal-roof houses may contribute to a decline in malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa.', Scientific reports., 9 (1). p. 7770.


In The Gambia, metal-roof houses were hotter during the day than thatched-roof houses. After 24 h, the mortality of Anopheles gambiae, the principal African malaria vector, was 38% higher in metal-roof houses than thatched ones. During the day, mosquitoes in metal-roof houses moved from the hot roof to cooler places near the floor, where the temperature was still high, reaching 35 °C. In laboratory studies, at 35 °C few mosquitoes survived 10 days, the minimum period required for malaria parasite development. Analysis of epidemiological data showed there was less malaria and lower vector survival rates in Gambian villages with a higher proportion of metal roofs. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the indoor climate of metal-roof houses, with higher temperatures and lower humidity, reduces survivorship of indoor-resting mosquitoes and may have contributed to the observed reduction in malaria burden in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

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Publisher statement:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit © The Author(s) 2019.
Date accepted:27 April 2019
Date deposited:07 June 2019
Date of first online publication:23 May 2019
Date first made open access:07 June 2019

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