An Artificial Diet for Wolbachia-Infected Ae. aegypti
Heverton Dutra of Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou, FIOCRUZ in Brazil will develop an artificial diet based on protein and fat to sustain mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria, which are needed in large numbers to prevent transmission of the dengue virus. These mosquitoes are currently being bred using vertebrate blood, which is difficult to obtain and store, and subject to stringent regulations. They will test variations of cholesterol and amino acids combined with the mixture of bovine serum albumin and phagostimulant that is known to support egg production in non-infected mosquitoes, on egg numbers laid by Wolbachia-infected females. The diet is relatively low cost and comprises widely available ingredients that could be used to support mass-rearing of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes.