Use of anti-gSG6-P1 IgG as a serological biomarker to assess temporal exposure to Anopheles’ mosquito bites in Lower Moshi

Nancy A. Kassam ,Neema Kulaya,Robert D. Kaaya,Christentze Schmiegelow,Christian W. Wang,Reginald A. Kavishe, Michael Alifrangis
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Malaria prevalence in the highlands of Northern Tanzania is currently below 1% making this an elimination prone setting. As climate changes may facilitate increasing distribution of Anopheles mosquitoes in such settings, there is a need to monitor changes in risks of exposure to ensure that established control tools meet the required needs. This study explored the use of human antibodies against gambiae salivary gland protein 6 peptide 1 (gSG6-P1) as a biomarker of Anopheles exposure and assessed temporal exposure to mosquito bites in populations living in Lower Moshi, Northern Tanzania.


Three cross-sectional surveys were conducted in 2019: during the dry season in March, at the end of the rainy season in June and during the dry season in September. Blood samples were collected from enrolled participants and analysed for the presence of anti-gSG6-P1 IgG. Mosquitoes were sampled from 10% of the participants’ households, quantified and identified to species level. Possible associations between gSG6-P1 seroprevalence and participants’ characteristics were determined.


The total number of Anopheles mosquitoes collected was highest during the rainy season (n = 1364) when compared to the two dry seasons (n = 360 and n = 1075, respectively). The gSG6-P1 seroprevalence increased from 18.8% during the dry season to 25.0% during the rainy season (χ2 = 2.66; p = 0.103) followed by a significant decline to 11.0% during the next dry season (χ2 = 12.56; p = 0.001). The largest number of mosquitoes were collected in one village (Oria), but the seroprevalence was significantly lower among the residents as compared to the rest of the villages (p = 0.039), explained by Oria having the highest number of participants owning and using bed nets. Both individual and household gSG6-P1 IgG levels had no correlation with numbers of Anopheles mosquitoes collected.


Anti-gSG6-P1 IgG is a potential tool in detecting and distinguishing temporal and spatial variations in exposure to Anopheles mosquito bites in settings of extremely low malaria transmission where entomological tools may be obsolete. However studies with larger sample size and extensive mosquito sampling are warranted to further explore the association between this serological marker and abundance of Anopheles mosquito.