Biogents – Science for Your Protection –

Mosquitoes as transmitter of diseases

Mosquitoes can transmit diverse diseases; they are so-called disease vectors. In order to do so, though, a mosquito must bite a sick human first, thereby infecting itself with the pathogen. After some time (usually around ten days), the mosquito itself becomes infectious. However, not every mosquito can transmit every pathogen. For example, the malaria pathogen can only be transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito species, whereas tiger mosquitoes are the vectors of dengue fever. Naturally, the specialization in different hosts has an influence on the diseases that a mosquito species can transmit. For example, the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is strongly specialized in humans and their surroundings. That is why it is a highly efficient vector of various diseases affecting humans: yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika are among these.

Other less specialized species can be dangerous in another way. Since they bite diverse hosts, for example, they can infect themselves with West Nile fever by biting a bird or a horse, and then transmit this pathogen to a human later on. These species are known as bridge vectors.

Do not underestimate diseases which are transmitted by mosquitoes if you are traveling to tropical regions. Protect yourself against mosquitoes. Here you can find informations of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) with current data of disease spreading and tips for traveling >