Malaria continues to be a major health threat near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea. Adult mosquitoes were collected from 20 July through 21 October, 2010 at Daeseongdong, a small village within the DMZ. Molecular techniques were used to identify Anopheles to species and for detection of Plasmodium vivax sporozoites in their head and thorax. Trap catches showed concordant peaks of Anopheles belenrae and An. kleini early in the study period and concordant peaks of An. pullus and An. sinensis later in the season. Three well defined peaks of the 107 sporozoite positive mosquitoes were observed: 34.6% were An. kleini, 23.4% were An. belenrae, 21.5% were An. sinensis, 19.6% were An. pullus, and 0.9% were An. lesteri. Estimation of the extrinsic incubation period from daily temperatures did not help identify preceding biting peaks of An. pullus and An. sinensis, when infection should have been acquired. We explore possible reasons for the sudden appearance and disappearance of sporozoite-infected mosquitoes, including the influx of infected mosquitoes from adjoining areas, and weather patterns. Regular surveillance for infected mosquitoes near border areas of the Republic of Korea may provide advance warning of increased malaria risk potential.
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Vol. 37 • No. 1