Jacob Glover, a student at Franklin College, worked in the lab of Dr. Ash Pathak
Abstract Anopheles Stephensi are a dangerous vector for countless diseases without cures currently. If mosquitos could be contained or controlled, then this could eliminate these diseases they carry without having to find a vaccine or other types of cures for them. One of the best stages to control mosquitos is within their larval stage of life. In this stage, they are so fragile that minor changes in food or environment can kill them or stunt their growth. If mosquito larvae could be purposefully stunted or killed off, then there would be one less major vector for disease. Our experiment tests this hypothesis to see if manipulating the rate at which mosquito larvae are fed if that impacts their pupation rates.Within this experiment, we test to see if various feeding rates affect their pupation rates, ultimately testing if their growth stays the same under different feeding conditions. This was done by giving them different amounts of TetraFin pellets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to see if there was a difference in growth rates. Overall, the results show that no significant changes occur in the pupation rates of mosquito larvae when feeding rates are altered.
Nathan Garcia-Diaz, a student from Willamette University, worked in the lab of Dr. Ash Pathak.
Abstract The effects of nutrition on malaria transmission was studied by collecting the most influential components of Vectorial Capacity. Vectorial Capacity (C) measures the Anopheline mosquito’s efficacy at transmitting the Plasmodium berghei parasites, and the largest factors impacting C are Extrinsic Incubation Period (EIP) and Vectoral Survival Probability (VSP). In order to force the mosquito to decide where to allocate nutrients, four conditions were created by combining two different treatments: Low Nutrient Treatment (1% Dextrose) and High Nutrient Treatment (10% Dextrose); Gravid (No Oviposition Site) and Not Gravid (Oviposition Site). Data was collected for EIP by examining sporozoite prevalence, and VSP was measured by mosquito mortality at fixed intervals after the infectious blood meal. To gain a more comprehensive notion on mosquitoes’ infectiousness, sporozoite density was measured alongside the other variables. The results from VSP data indicate that mosquitoes were most likely to survive if given the high nutrient treatment, and less likely to survive if the mosquitoes had the not gravid status. Additionally, when comparing EIP data between Gravid and Not Gravid statuses in the low nutrient treatment, gravid mosquitoes were infected sooner and at a higher rate than the not gravid counterparts. This pattern was seen again in the parasite density, gravid mosquitoes being more infectious than not gravid mosquitoes. It can be concluded that when infected mosquitoes are in a nutrient deficient state, gravid mosquitoes prioritize caring for its progeny rather than assembling an immunological response.