Malaria vectors and vector surveillance in Limpopo province (South Africa): 1927 to 2018

Leo Braack, Riana Bornman, Taneshka Kruger, Yael Dahan‐moss, Allison Gilbert, Maria Kaiser, Shüuné V. Oliver, Anthony J. Cornel, Yoosook Lee, Douglas E. Norris, Maureen Coetzee, Basil Brooke, Christiaan de Jager

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite the annual implementation of a robust and extensive indoor residual spraying programme against malaria vectors in Limpopo Province (South Africa), significant transmission continues and is a serious impediment to South Africa’s malaria elimination objectives. In order to gain a better understanding regarding possible causes of this residual malaria, we conducted a literature review of the historical species composition and abundance of malaria vector mosquitoes in the Limpopo River Valley region of the Vhembe District, northern Limpopo Province, the region with the highest remaining annual malaria cases in South Africa. In addition, mosquito surveys were carried out in the same region between October 2017 and October 2018. A total of 2225 adult mosquitoes were collected using CO2‐baited tent and light traps, human landing catches and cow-baited traps. Of the 1443 Anopheles collected, 516 were members of the An. gambiae complex and 511 An. funestus group. In the malaria endemic rural areas outside the Kruger National Park, one specimen each of An. gambiae s.s. and An. funestus and only three of An. arabiensis were collected. The latter species was abundant at a remote hot spring in the neighboring Kruger National Park. Eighteen other species of Anopheles were collected. Our survey results support the historical findings that An. arabiensis, the species widely held to be the prime malaria vector in South Africa, is a rare species in the malaria endemic Limpopo River Valley. The implications of the mosquito surveys for malaria transmission, elimination and vector control in northern Limpopo Province and neighboring regions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4125
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Anopheles
  • Limpopo Province
  • Malaria
  • South Africa
  • Vector surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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