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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Arthropod-borne Animal Diseases Research

Title: A Comparison of Hamster Anesthetics and Their Effect on Mosquito Blood Feeding

item Murrieta, Charles
item Bennett, Kristine
item Stuart, Melissa
item West, Mark
item Miller, Myrna

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2010
Publication Date: 10/1/2010
Publication URL:
Citation: Murrieta, C.M., Bennett, K.E., Stuart, M.A., West, M.S., Miller, M.M. 2010. A Comparison of Hamster Anesthetics and Their Effect on Mosquito Blood Feeding. Journal of Entomological Science. 45(4):388-391.

Interpretive Summary: Hamsters or mice are often anesthetized before use in mosquito feeding experiments. Mosquito blood feeding success was compared using hamsters anesthetized with two common anesthetic protocols. This experiment found that for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, anesthetic choice appeared to make a difference; however, due to high variability in individual hamster selection by the mosquitoes, further replicates of the study will be needed to see if this is significant.

Technical Abstract: Hamsters or mice are often anesthetized when they are used as the hosts for insect feeding experiments. An experiment was done to determine if there was a difference in mosquito blood feeding success when fed on hamsters anesthetized using two commonly used protocols. The number of blood-fed females was determined for three genera of mosquitoes using Anopheles quadrimaculatus, Aedes aegypti, and Culex tarsalis fed on hamster anesthetized with ketamine alone or ketamine plus xylazine. This study found that for Aedes aegypti, ketamine alone resulted in a 6 fold increase in proportion of mosquitoes blood-fed, but due to large variability this failed to reach significance with the number of mosquitoes used. Further investigation with more mosquitoes will be needed to determine if this is indeed significant.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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