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Phagostimulants drive the acceptance of a blood meal in disease vectors

Lukenge, Matthew ; Ignell, Rickard; Hill, Sharon


Blood feeding is pivotal for the survival and reproduction of haematophagous arthropods, and is intimately linked to the transmission of vector-borne diseases. As such, understanding the dynamics of phagostimulation may identify targets, which can be used in future vector control. The behaviour leading up to the acceptance of a blood meal relies ultimately on the sense of taste, by which disease vectors assess the quality of the meal through blood-related phagostimulatory ligands. Adenylated nucleotides, often in combination with NaCl, NaHCO3 and other blood-related factors, elicit pronounced, species-specific feeding responses in haematophagous arthropods, an effect reflected in the response of gustatory sensory neurons housed within hairlike sensilla on the mouthparts involved in blood feeding. While there has been progress made to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating the response to blood phagostimulants, there are yet many voids to fill. This chapter gives an account of the existing knowledge about the phagostimulatory dynamics leading up to and during blood-feeding activation in select disease vectors, with emphasis on the blood-related feeding stimulants/mechanisms, which potentially could be targeted for advancing alternative vector control tools.


phagostimulation; adenylated nucleotides; purinoceptors; haematophagy; blood feeding

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Titel: Sensory ecology of disease vectors
ISBN: 978-90-8686-380-8, eISBN: 978-90-8686-932-9
Utgivare: Wageningen Academic Publishers