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
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a one year longitudinal study of P. knowlesi vectors in three sites within an endemic area of Sabah, Malaysia. All mosquitoes were captured using human landing catch. Anopheles mosquitoes were dissected to determine, oocyst, sporozoites and parous rate. Anopheles balabacensis is confirmed as the primary vector of. P. knowlesi (using nested PCR) in Sabah for the first time. Vector densities were significantly higher and more seasonally variable in the village than forest or small scale farming site. However An. balabacensis survival and P. knowlesi infection rates were highest in forest and small scale farm sites. Anopheles balabacensis mostly bites humans outdoors in the early evening between 1800 to 2000 hrs.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study indicates transmission is unlikely to be prevented by bednets. This combined with its high vectorial capacity poses a threat to malaria elimination programmes within the region.