When Is a Plasmodium-Infected Mosquito an Infectious Mosquito?

Wouter Graumans, Ella Jacobs, Teun Bousema, Photini Sinnis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Plasmodium parasites experience significant bottlenecks as they transit through the mosquito and are transmitted to their mammalian host. Oocyst prevalence on mosquito midguts and sporozoite prevalence in salivary glands are nevertheless commonly used to confirm successful malaria transmission, assuming that these are reliable indicators of the mosquito's capacity to give rise to secondary infections. Here we discuss recent insights in sporogonic development and transmission bottlenecks for Plasmodium. We highlight critical gaps in our knowledge and frame their importance in understanding the human and mosquito reservoirs of infection. A better understanding of the events that lead to successful inoculation of infectious sporozoites by mosquitoes is critical to designing effective interventions to shrink the malaria map.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-716
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in parasitology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Anopheles
  • gametocyte
  • mosquitoes
  • oocyst
  • salivary glands
  • sporozoite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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