Infection of Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) with Edhazardia aedis (Microsporidia: Culicosporidae) reduced mean human host attraction and landing/probing rates in female mosquitoes by 53 and 62%, respectively, compared with rates in microsporidia-free females. Infection with E. aedis reduced the average weight of unfed female mosquitoes by 4%, caused them to imbibe 23% less blood, and to lay 30% fewer eggs than healthy females. In contrast, E. aedis-infected mosquitoes required 20% more time (>1 h) than healthy females to bite skin treated with 15% DEET. Statistically significant morbidity in E. aedis-infected females was indicated by reductions in host attraction and landing/probing responses, the mass of unfed and blood-engorged females, and fecundity, and by increased DEET repellency.
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Vol. 44 • No. 6