Jun 07, 2013

    Why does only the Aedes mosquito transmit dengue?

    WE CONTINUE the series in which we feature answers to questions, sent by the public on a wide variety of topics, from Stomp's Ask Libby section.

    Ask Libby is a collaboration between Stomp and Public Libraries Singapore, whose librarians research and provide answers to a diverse range of questions.

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    Here is this week's question: Why does only the Aedes mosquito transmit dengue?

    Not all mosquitoes can transmit dengue and their ability to do so is dependent on a combination of factors.

    This includes the biology of the mosquito species - where it breeds and if the species bites human beings - the ability of the dengue virus to survive in the mosquito, and its ability to multiply in the insect.

    For example, if a mosquito from a different species bites a dengue-infected person, it cannot transmit dengue to other people because the virus may be killed by the insect's immune system, or the virus may survive but cannot multiply.

    Do note that the transmission of any mosquito-borne disease requires three components: The host (human), the vector (Aedes mosquito) and the pathogen (the virus).