Impact of field-realistic doses of glyphosate and nutritional stress on mosquito life history traits and susceptibility to malaria parasite infection

Ecol Evol. 2020 Apr 27;10(11):5079-5088. doi: 10.1002/ece3.6261. eCollection 2020 Jun.


Glyphosate is the world's most widely used herbicide. The commercial success of this molecule is due to its nonselectivity and its action, which would supposedly target specific biosynthetic pathways found mainly in plants. Multiple studies have however provided evidence for high sensitivity of many nontarget species to glyphosate and/or to formulations (glyphosate mixed with surfactants). This herbicide, found at significant levels in aquatic systems through surface runoffs, impacts life history traits and immune parameters of several aquatic invertebrates' species, including disease-vector mosquitoes. Mosquitoes, from hatching to emergence, are exposed to aquatic chemical contaminants. In this study, we first compared the toxicity of pure glyphosate to the toxicity of glyphosate-based formulations for the main vector of avian malaria in Europe, Culex pipiens mosquito. Then we evaluated, for the first time, how field-realistic dose of glyphosate interacts with larval nutritional stress to alter mosquito life history traits and susceptibility to avian malaria parasite infection. Our results show that exposure of larvae to field-realistic doses of glyphosate, pure or in formulation, did not affect larval survival rate, adult size, and female fecundity. One of our two experimental blocks showed, however, that exposure to glyphosate decreased development time and reduced mosquito infection probability by malaria parasite. Interestingly, the effect on malaria infection was lost when the larvae were also subjected to a nutritional stress, probably due to a lower ingestion of glyphosate.

Keywords: Plasmodium relictum; diet; glyphosate‐based herbicides; vector.

Associated data

  • Dryad/10.5061/dryad.xgxd254cw