BACKGROUND: Malaria cases caused by Plasmodium knowlesi, a simian parasite naturally found in long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques, are increasing rapidly in Sabah, Malaysia. One hypothesis is that this increase is associated with changes in land use. A study was carried out to identify the anopheline vectors present in different forest types and to observe the human landing behaviour of mosquitoes.
METHODS: Mosquito collections were carried out using human landing catches at ground and canopy levels in the Tawau Division of Sabah. Collections were conducted along an anthropogenic disturbance gradient (primary forest, lightly logged virgin jungle reserve and salvage logged forest) between 18:00 and 22:00 h.
RESULTS: Anopheles balabacensis, a vector of P. knowlesi, was the predominant species in all collection areas, accounting for 70 % of the total catch, with a peak landing time of 18:30-20:00 h. Anopheles balabacensis had a preference for landing on humans at ground level compared to the canopy (p
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