Ecological characterisation and infection of Anophelines (Diptera: Culicidae) of the Atlantic Forest in the southeast of Brazil over a 10 year period: has the behaviour of the autochthonous malaria vector changed?

<div><p> BACKGROUND In southeastern Brazil, autochthonous cases of malaria can be found near Atlantic Forest fragments. Because the transmission cycle has not been completely clarified, the behaviour of the possible vectors in those regions must be observed. A study concerning the entomological aspects and natural infection of anophelines (Diptera: Culicidae) captured in the municipalities of the mountainous region of Espírito Santo state was performed in 2004 and 2005. Similarly, between 2014 and 2015, 12 monthly collections were performed at the same area of the study mentioned above. METHODS Center for Disease Control (CDC) light traps with CO2 were set in open areas, at the edge and inside of the forest (canopy and ground), whereas Shannon traps were set on the edge. FINDINGS A total of 1,414 anophelines were collected from 13 species. Anopheles (Kerteszia) cruzii Dyar and Knab remained the most frequently captured species in the CDC traps set in the forest canopy, as well as being the vector with the highest prevalence of Plasmodium vivax/simium infection, according to molecular polymerase chain reaction techniques. CONCLUSIONS P. vivax/simium was found only in abdomens of the mosquitoes of the subgenus Nyssorhynchus, weakening the hypothesis that this subgenus also plays a role in malaria transmission in this specific region.</p></div>