Notes on the blood-feeding behavior of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Cameroon
1 Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), UMR MIVEGEC (UM1-CNRS 5290-IRD 224), team BEES, P.O. Box 64501, Montpellier 34394, France
2 Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Paludisme, Organisation de Coordination pour la lutte contre les Endémies en Afrique Centrale (OCEAC), P.O. Box 288, Yaoundé, Cameroon
3 Institut Pasteur de Bangui, P.O. Box 923, Bangui, Republic of Central Africa
4 Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville (CIRMF), P.O. Box 769, Franceville, Gabon
Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:57 doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-57Published: 21 March 2012
The invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus is often considered a poor vector of human pathogens, owing to its catholic feeding behavior. However, it was recently incriminated as a major vector in several Chikungunya epidemics, outside of its native range. Here we assessed two key elements of feeding behavior by Ae. albopictus females in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Central Africa. Host preference was explored and the human-biting activity of females was monitored over 24 h to determine periods of maximum bite exposure.
Analysis of ingested blood in outdoor-resting females showed that Ae. albopictus preferentially fed on humans rather than on available domestic animals (95% of the blood meals contained human blood). Our results further showed that Ae. albopictus is a day-biting species in Yaoundé, with a main peak of activity in the late afternoon.
This is the first report on the feeding behavior of Ae. albopictus in Central Africa. The species is highly aggressive to humans and might therefore be involved in human-human virus transmission in this setting.