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, 102 (1), 223-231

Measuring the Host-Seeking Ability of Aedes aegypti Destined for Field Release

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Measuring the Host-Seeking Ability of Aedes aegypti Destined for Field Release

Meng-Jia Lau et al. Am J Trop Med Hyg.

Abstract

Host seeking is an essential process in mosquito reproduction. Field releases of modified mosquitoes for population replacement rely on successful host seeking by female mosquitoes, but host-seeking ability is rarely tested in a realistic context. We tested the host-seeking ability of female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes using a semi-field system. Females with different Wolbachia infection types (wMel-, wAlbB-infected, and uninfected) or from different origins (laboratory and field) were released at one end of a semi-field cage and recaptured as they landed on human experimenters 15 m away. Mosquitoes from each population were then identified with molecular tools or through minimal dusting with fluorescent powder. Wolbachia-infected and uninfected populations had similar average durations to landing and overall recapture proportions, as did laboratory and field-sourced Ae. aegypti. These results indicate that the host-seeking ability of mosquitoes is not negatively affected by Wolbachia infection or long-term laboratory maintenance. This method provides an approach to study the host-seeking ability of mosquitoes in a realistic setting, which will be useful when evaluating strains of mosquitoes that are planned for releases into the field to suppress arbovirus transmission.

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure: The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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