Submitted to: Experimental Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2007
Publication Date: 2/2/2008
Citation: Xue, R.-D., Ali, A., Barnard, D. R. 2008. Host species diversity and post-blood fedding carbohydrate availability enhance survival of females and fecundity in Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae). Experimental Parasitology. 119(2008):225-228. Interpretive Summary: The successful transmission of a disease agent by a mosquito to an animal or human host requires sufficient time for the pathogen to develop in the mosquito and to be transmitted to a new host. Factors that affect mosquito survival during this period are critical to the onset and maintenance of epidemics of mosquito-borne disease and are important to understand because they provide specific targets for the action of mosquito control measures. In this study, scientists at the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL and the University of Florida showed that a single blood feeding event comprising blood from two different vertebrate host species, and the availability of carbohydrate (sugar) after the blood meal, enhanced survival in mosquitoes compared with a blood meal from a single host, or the lack of carbohydrate. The results indicate that mosquito survival in some environments can be reduced and disease transmission interrupted by controlling the availability of alternate vertebrate hosts and plant carbohydrate sources.
Technical Abstract: Survival of caged female Aedes albopictus allowed to imbibe blood from two different vertebrate host species (double meal) was higher than the females fed on only one vertebrate host species (single meal) (mean survival: 70.2 ± 9.6 vs. 55.5 ± 5.5 %, respectively) when held in the laboratory for 72 h after blood feeding. Mean survival of females provided access to 10% sucrose solution (in water) after a single or double blood meal was higher (90.5 ± 6.4 % and 89.3 ± 6.5 %, respectively) than in the respective groups with access to water after the blood meal (double meal: 49.0 ± 9.6 %; single meal: and 45.3 ± 10.9 %). On average, females that received a double meal produced more eggs (89.0 + 6.6 eggs) than females provided a single meal (82.3 ± 8.2 eggs). Survival benefits to the mosquito obtained from access to carbohydrate following a blood meal are consistent with the outdoor resting behavior of Aedes albopictus following blood feeding.