Artificial Diet Complemented with a Human Blood Factor
Henrique Silveira of the Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical (IHMT) in Portugal and colleagues have identified a peptide in human blood that promotes female mosquito reproduction. They will test whether it can be added to artificial diets to improve mosquito breeding in the laboratory for studying vector-borne diseases like malaria. The human peptide activates a so-called G protein-coupled receptor in the mosquito, which somehow triggers reproduction. They will study the mechanism further, and use the most active form of the peptide to formulate an artificial meal and test its effect on different aspects of mosquito reproduction compared to a normal human blood meal.