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Trends Parasitol. 2019 Sep;35(9):704-714. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2019 Jul 17.

Mosquito Host-Seeking Regulation: Targets for Behavioral Control.

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Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA. Electronic address:


Female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes require protein from blood to develop eggs. They have evolved a strong innate drive to find and bite humans and engorge on their blood. Decades of research have revealed that attraction to hosts is suppressed for days after blood-feeding. During this time, females coordinate complex physiological changes, allowing them to utilize blood protein to develop eggs: clearing excess fluid, digesting protein, and egg maturation. How do mechanosensation, nutrient consumption, and reproductive pathways combine to produce the full expression of host-seeking suppression? Understanding mechanisms of endogenous host-seeking suppression may allow them to be 'weaponized' against mosquitoes through exogenous activation and developed as tools for vector control. Recent work allows unprecedented genetic and pharmacological access to characterize and disrupt this behavioral cycle.


Aedes aegypti; blood-feeding; host-seeking; mosquito; vector biology


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