Data from: Larval nutritional stress affects vector life history traits and human malaria transmission
Vantaux, Amélie et al. (2018), Data from: Larval nutritional stress affects vector life history traits and human malaria transmission, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7t23j
Exposure to stress during an insect’s larval development can have carry-over effects on many adult life history traits and affect host susceptibility to pathogens. Studies on mosquitoes have shown that the larval environment impacts on components of vectorial capacity such as vector competence and adult survival. We investigated the carry-over effects of larval nutritional stress for the first time on a natural mosquito vector-malaria parasite association: Anopheles coluzzii exposed to field isolates of Plasmodium falciparum. In contrast to previous studies, we show that larval nutritional stress may affect human to mosquito transmission antagonistically: nutritionally deprived larvae showed lower parasite prevalence only on a subset of gametocyte carriers; they also had lower fecundity. However, they had greater survival rates that were even higher when infected. We combined these opposing effects into epidemiological models to show that they depend on mosquito densities. Larval nutritional stress induced a decrease in malaria transmission at low mosquito density and an increase in transmission at high mosquito densities, whereas transmission by mosquitoes from well-fed larvae was stable. Our work underscores the importance of including larval ecological factors towards understanding host – parasite dynamics, and the need to confirm findings from artificial models on natural systems to improve disease transmission models and control.