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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1982;76(1):119-22.

Host behaviour and mosquito feeding success: an experimental study.


The susceptibility of laboratory rabbits to attack by mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) is found to be closely linked to their grooming activity. Prevention of grooming significantly increases both the percentage of mosquitoes feeding and the size of blood meals. Grooming responses intensify with parasite density, and lead to a slight decline in parasite feeding success and blood meal size. Grooming efficiency varied between individual rabbits and also a consequence of experience, with rabbits improving their ability to deter mosquitoes in response to the intensity and/or duration of previous exposures.

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