Is the spread of viruses from mosquitoes significant?

Martin Weiss mweiss at nyscience.org
Tue Jun 25 11:29:02 EST 2002

>For those of us who spend a fair amount of time out-of-doors, it's 
>not at all uncommon to see mosquitos settle on you that are already 
>partially filled with blood, and there doesn't seem to be any doubt 
>that viruses circulate in blood.   If you're standing beside another 
>person and both are dislodging mosquitos during vain attempts to 
>squash them, it seems to me that there's a very good chance that one 
>which was sucking on someone else could begin taking your blood. 
>Thus, the key question would seem to be whether people-hopping 
>mosquitos can inject, as well as extract, blood and any viruses that 
>may be in the blood.
>At 08:15 PM 24/06/2002 +0200, you wrote:
>>Dear all,
>>I was just talking with someone about the threat of getting viruses 
>>from mosquito bites. Can for example HIV and hepatitis C be 
>>transfered from one person to another through such bites? Does any 
>>virus use this method of transfer as its main route? What is the 
>>main difference in viruses that are able to use mosquitoes as 
>>vectors compared to those that can't,are they more stable or just 
>>more efficient at infecting a new host?
>>Kind regards,
>>Trond Erik Vee Aune

There does not seem to be any evidence that partially fed mosquitos 
inject blood. The blood meal is in the stomach and anything injected 
is from the salivary glands so, for example, malaria parasites after 
developing in the gut of the mosquito migrate to the salivary gland 
to be injected along with anti-coagulant and anesthetizing chemicals. 
So, no, no blood is injected.


Martin Weiss, Ph.D.
Director of Science
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111 th Street
Corona, New York 11368
phone: 718 699 0005 x 356
facsimile:718 699 1341
mweiss at nyhallsci.org


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