The invasive American weed parthenium hysterophorus can negatively impact malaria control in Africa
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Box 30772, Nairobi, Kenya; Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 1700 Southwest 23 Drive, Gainesville, FL, United States; Kaplan Schiller Research LLC., PO Box 13853, Gainesville, FL, United States; Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, 318W 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH, United States; Center for Chemical Ecology, Department of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, United States; Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Walter-Flex-Str. 3, Bonn, Germany
The direct negative effects of invasive plant species on agriculture and biodiversity are well known, but their indirect effects on human health, and particularly their interactions with disease-transmitting vectors, remains poorly explored. This study sought to investigate the impact of the invasive Neotropical weed Parthenium hysterophorus and its toxins on the survival and energy reserves of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. In this study, we compared the fitness of An. gambiae fed on three differentially attractive mosquito host plants and their major toxins; the highly aggressive invasive Neotropical weed Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae) in East Africa and two other adapted weeds, Ricinus communis (Euphorbiaceae) and Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae). Our results showed that female An. gambiae fitness varied with host plants as females survived better and accumulated substantial energy reserves when fed on P. hysterophorus and R. communis compared to B. pilosa. Females tolerated parthenin and 1-phenylhepta-1, 3, 5-triyne, the toxins produced by P. hysterophorus and B. pilosa, respectively, but not ricinine produced by R. communis. Given that invasive plants like P. hysterophorus can suppress or even replace less competitive species that might be less suitable host-plants for arthropod disease vectors, the spread of invasive plants could lead to higher disease transmission. Parthenium hysterophorus represents a possible indirect effect of invasive plants on human health, which underpins the need to include an additional health dimension in risk-analysis modelling for invasive plants.
alkaloid; parthenin; phenylheptatriyne; plant toxin; ricinine; unclassified drug; adult; Africa; Anopheles gambiae; Article; Asteraceae; Bidens pilosa; controlled study; Euphorbiaceae; female; intraspecific competition; invasive species; malaria control; Neotropics; nonhuman; Parthenium hysterophorus; Ricinus communis; toxin analysis; weed
ARS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; RO1A1077722, NIAID, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; USDA, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases