Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26872451
Malar. J. 2016;15:87
BACKGROUND: The identification of blood meal sources in malaria vectors is critical to better understanding host/vector interactions and malaria epidemiology and control. Currently, the identification of mosquito blood meal origins is based on time-consuming and costly techniques such as precipitin tests, ELISA and molecular tools. Although these tools have been validated to identify the blood meal and trophic preferences of female Anopheles mosquitoes, they present several limitations. Recently, matrix-assisted, laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) was successfully used as a quick and accurate tool for arthropod identification, including mosquitoes. The aim of the present work was to test whether MALDI-TOF MS could also be applied to identification of blood meal sources from engorged mosquitoes.
METHODS: Abdomen proteins extracted from Anopheles gambiae (stricto sensu, S molecular form) that were either unengorged or artificially engorged on seven distinct types of vertebrate blood (human, horse, sheep, rabbit, mouse, rat, dog) were submitted for MALDI-TOF MS.
RESULTS: The comparison of mass spectrometry (MS) spectra from mosquito abdomens collected 1 h post-feeding, were able to discriminate blood meal origins. Moreover, using Aedes albopictus specimens, abdominal protein MS spectra from engorged mosquitoes were found specific to host blood source and independent of the mosquito species. A sequential analysis revealed stability of mosquito abdominal protein spectra up to 24 h post-feeding.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that MALDI-TOF MS could determine feeding patterns of freshly engorged mosquitoes up to 24 h post-blood meal. The MALDI-TOF MS technique appears to be an efficient tool for large epidemiological surveillance of vector-borne diseases and outbreak source identification.