Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae) female mosquitoes infected systemically with Sindbis virus (SINV) took longer than uninfected mosquitoes to locate and fully engorge on blood. On days 7 and 14 postexposure, blood feeding took 1.3 and 1.5 times longer in mosquitoes with a disseminated SINV infection, respectively. SINV dissemination did not affect the average weight of unfed Ae. aegypti, but did result in a 10 and 12% increase in blood imbibed compared with mosquitoes without a positive SINV dissemination and non-SINV-exposed mosquitoes, respectively. Ae. aegypti mosquitoes with a disseminated SINV infection fed an average of 4 h sooner than uninfected mosquitoes when offered a bloodmeal contained inside a DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) saturated (30%) bovine sausage casing. Together, these results indicate that behavioral changes in mosquito host-seeking, blood feeding and sensitivity to DEET occurred in mosquitoes after SINV infection and dissemination.
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Vol. 49 • No. 2