Parasites and Vectors (2019) 12 (584) - Assessing the blood meal hosts

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Samoa Asigau, Sawsan Salah and Patricia G. Parker (2019)
Assessing the blood meal hosts of Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes taeniorhynchus in Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos
Parasites and Vectors 12 (584)
Blood meal host selection by mosquito vectors is an important component in understanding disease dynamics of pathogens that threaten endemic fauna in isolated islands such as Galápagos. Research on the feeding behavior of mosquitoes can provide clues to the hosts and vectors involved in disease transmission. This information is particularly critical for endemic wildlife fauna in island systems that have evolved without resistance to novel diseases such as avian malaria. The aims of this study were to determine the blood-feeding patterns of two species of mosquitoes found in Galápagos and discuss how their feeding behavior may influence the transmission of pathogens such as avian malaria.
In the summer of 2015, we sampled two mosquito species (Aedes taeniorhynchus and Culex quinquefasciatus) across 18 different sites on Isla Santa Cruz, which is the second largest island in Galápagos and has the largest human population. We trapped mosquitoes using CDC light traps and CDC gravid traps and identified sources of blood meals for engorged mosquitoes by sequencing a portion of the vertebrate mitochondrial cytochrome b gene.
Out of 947 female mosquitoes captured, 320 were blood-fed, and PCR amplifications were successful for 301 of the blood meals. Results revealed that both Aedes taeniorhynchus and Culex quinquefasciatus feed from a variety of vertebrate taxa, numerically dominated by humans on Isla Santa Cruz.
The high proportion of mammalian blood meals could represent locally available and abundant hosts on Santa Cruz. However, host surveys and estimates of relative abundances of vertebrate species will need to accompany mosquito trapping studies on non-inhabited and inhabited islands in Galápagos to further validate this.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
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Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Culex quinquefasciatus Ecuador (Galapagos)
Aedes taeniorhynchus Ecuador (Galapagos)