prevalence increased with stage from 12% in second instars to 36% in adults. Regression models demonstrated that the probability of parasite acquisition was roughly the same for each developmental stage. Prevalence increased by 5.9% with each additional stage. We postulate that the probability of acquiring the parasite may be related to the number of feeding events. Transmission of the parasite does not appear to be correlated with the amount of blood ingested during feeding. Similarly, other hypothesized transmission routes such as coprophagy fail to explain the observed pattern of prevalence. Our results could have implications for the feasibility of late-acting control strategies that preferentially kill older insects.

MIDAS Network Members

Michael Levy

Associate Professor of Epidemiology
University of Pennsylvania