Dietary Factors that Influences the Life History Characteristics of Aedes aegypti

Open Access
Lake, Joash
Area of Honors:
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Andrew Fraser Read, Thesis Supervisor
  • Lorraine C Santy, Honors Advisor
  • Scott Eugene Lindner, Faculty Reader
  • Aedes aegypti
  • nutrient requirements
  • Blood preservation
Aedes aegypti plays a significant role in the transmission of vector borne diseases due to its feeding behavior. While there is data that shows that this species of mosquito can feed on a variety of organisms, Ae. aegypti seem to prefer feeding on humans. Understanding factors that influence this feeding behavior will play a major role in better understanding disease-dynamics and also assist in developing artificial diets for raising mosquitoes in a laboratory. In the following report, two preservation methods – freeze drying and freeze thawing – of blood were tested to analyze the effects on life history characteristics of A. aegypti. The data showed that there were no associated risks with using freeze-thawing methods for maintenance of blood compared to using refrigerated whole blood. Freeze-drying blood had varying results between the two experiments done – one of the experiments showed a negative impact of feeding on freeze-dried blood on the survival probability and life span of the mosquitoes. Other studies went on to evaluate how certain amino acids, specifically supplementation of isoleucine and methionine, affected the average number of eggs a mosquito can lay and the average life span. When methionine was supplemented, there were negative effects on the survival probability of the mosquitoes that was both dose-dependent and present only if sugar was available. The data also suggest that individual supplementation may have negative effects on average life span, while combinatorial supplementation of amino acids may decrease those effects.