Sick mosquitoes live longer


French researchers led by Dr. Julien Vezilier, report online on August 1st in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, that the blood parasite Plasmodium, responsible for malaria, can influence and lengthen the life expectancy of their mosquito hosts (Culex pipien), while reducing their fecundity. The effect of this parasite on Culex mosquitoes has, so far, been controversial and this research is the first to convincingly show that both longevity and fecundity are affected by this parasite. This strategy, according to researchers, "maximizes the chances of Plasmodium transmission." By living longer, there will be more biting opportunities for the mosquito, and this means more transmission opportunities for the parasite. 

Original article: Plasmodium infection decreases fecundity and increases survival of mosquitoes.

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