A Blood-Free Diet to Rear Anopheline Mosquitoes

This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

Malaria research requires large-scale breeding and production conditions for mosquitoes (Anopheles spp.) in captivity. The sustainable and reliable production of mosquitoes is currently inhibited by the supply of fresh vertebrate blood. Alternatives to blood are required to promote efficient control strategies for malaria and other vector borne diseases that are transmitted by blood feeding insects. With this in mind, artificial liquid diets were formulated as substitutes for fresh vertebrate blood. Herein we report a blood-free artificial liquid diet that delivers feeding rates similar to blood and mimics the physiological effects of a fresh vertebrate blood meal. The diet induces ovarian and egg maturation of Anopheles mosquitoes and also produces good larval survival and development of functional adults. The formulated blood-free liquid diet is an important advance towards sustainable mosquito breeding in captivity and will reduce the maintenance costs of mosquito colonies and eliminate the need for fresh vertebrate blood.