Optimisation of adult Anopheles funestus blood-feeding on an artificial membrane feeding system
Keywords:Malaria vector, defibrinated cattle blood, mosquito density, lactic acid, colony
Malaria is one of the most severe vector-borne diseases caused by Plasmodium parasites and transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes. Laboratory-reared anophelines are essential to advance research needed to reduce or eliminate malaria. The success of laboratory rearing as well as studies on parasite-mosquito transmission, is advanced by using an artificial membrane feeding systems. These require the optimisation of mosquito feeding to ensure that an optimal number of mosquitoes feed, thereby enabling successful reproduction or research sample sizes. In this study, various parameters such as the type of artificial membrane, density of adults in the feeding cup, age of the mosquito, duration of starvation, method of starvation, the volume of blood meal, duration of feeding, feeding in the light or dark and the effect of lactic acid were evaluated to determine their impact on the feeding rate of a main African malaria vector, Anopheles funestus. By optimising the artificial membrane feeding parameters, an increase in the feeding rate of the An. funestus mosquitoes was observed. The results obtained from these parameters increased the feeding rate of An. funestus above 50%. However, feeding rates were not significantly increased by the type of membrane, mosquito density, the volume of blood meal, duration of feeding and the addition of lactic acid to the cattle intestine membrane. Therefore, this study provides information on suitable conditions for adult mosquito feeding that allows for successful laboratory rearing and colony maintenance. Furthermore, it provides additional information for research studies that are dependent on blood-feeding, such as transmission blocking studies, endectocide studies etc.
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