Host-feeding patterns of mosquito species in Aras Valley, Turkey
Identifying hosts of blood-feeding mosquito species is important to elucidate the role of vector species in disease transmission cycles. Herein, the aim was to identify the vertebrate hosts of mosquito species using the polymerase chain reaction-based reverse line blotting method. The mosquito species were Anopheles maculipennis sensu lato Meigen, 1818; Aedes caspius Pallas, 1771; Aedes vexans Meigen, 1830; Culex theileri Theobald, 1903; Anopheles hyrcanus Pallas 1771; Culex pipiens sensu lato Linnaeus, 1758; and Culiseta annulata Schrank, 1776, which were collected from the Aras Valley between July-August 2012 and June-September 2013. The analysis of mosquito blood-meal samples revealed several mammalian and avian host species. And also varying degrees of opportunistic mosquito feeding behavior in both birds and mammals were noted. These mosquito species fed on eight mammal species, i.e., humans, cows, sheep, horses, dogs, cats, goats, and porcupines, as well as avian species. Studies on the host-feeding patterns of blood-feeding vector arthropods may provide information about the vector potential of these species. However, the host-feeding patterns of the vector species are only one part of the vector capacity. To detect the exact potential of vector species, further studies are needed on vector competence for different pathogens.