Feeding strategies of anthropophilic mosquitoes result in increased risk of pathogen transmission

T.W. Scott, W. Takken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


Vector-borne disease specialists have traditionally assumed that in each egg-laying cycle mosquitoes take a single bloodmeal that is used for egg development and feed on plant sugars for flight and production of energy reserves. Here we review research showing that for two of the most important vectors of human pathogens (Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti) imbibing multiple bloodmeals during a gonotrophic cycle while foregoing sugar feeding is a common behaviour, not an exception. By feeding preferentially and frequently on human blood these species increase their fitness and exponentially boost the basic reproduction rate of pathogens they transmit. Although the epidemiological outcome is similar, there are important differences in processes underlying frequent human contact by these species that merit more detailed investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-121
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • aedes-aegypti diptera
  • anopheles-gambiae diptera
  • ideal free distribution
  • sensu-stricto diptera
  • puerto-rico
  • human-blood
  • body-size
  • plasmodium-falciparum
  • dengue vector
  • defensive behavior

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