Biogents – Science for Your Protection –

Our mosquito test species

The Biogents Contract R&D team has great expertise in performing independent studies on the efficacy of anti-mosquito products. We maintain colonies of mosquitoes which are suitable for various tests on repellents and related products.

We can run tests on four tropical mosquito species with different activity patterns and species-specific aggressiveness as model organisms for anti-mosquito product tests. In the real world, our strains play an important role as vectors of different diseases. Our insectary houses the following colonies: yellow-fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) and Asian tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) – both diurnal species -, southern house mosquitoes (Culex quinquefasciatus) and malaria mosquitoes (Anopheles gambiae) – both nocturnal species.

Yellow fever mosquito

The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, occurs in tropical und subtropical regions worldwide. Yellow fever mosquitoes are day active and anthropophilic, i.e., they feed exclusively on human hosts. Besides yellow fever, they also transmit dengue fever and Zika, occasionally dangerous viral diseases. Up to now immunization is not yet commonly available.

Aedes aegypti can easily be maintained under laboratory conditions, has a broad activity pattern, and is very aggressive. Therefore, it became the standard test mosquito for behavioral tests, and is used by research groups worldwide. The lead time for efficacy tests against Ae. aegypti is usually two weeks.

Asian tiger mosquitoes

The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is native to Southeast Asia, but invaded several tropic and subtropic countries within the last decades. Aedes albopictus gained some notoriety in 2005 and 2007 as causative vector of the chikungunya outbreaks in La Reunion and Mauritius (indian Pacific), as well as in the province of Ravenna, Northern Italy. Besides chikungunya, this mosquito species also transmits dengue fever, yellow fever, and the West Nile virus.
Asian tiger mosquitoes have a broad activity pattern, and can be used for testing all-day. The lead time for breeding a sufficient number of test mosquitoes is usually three to four weeks after the receipt of order.

Malaria mosquitoes

The nocturnal mosquito species Anopheles gambiae is native to Central and South Africa and to Madagascar. It is the most important vector of malaria in the sub-Saharan countries. Malaria mosqitoes are a major threat to health. In comparison to the nocturnal species Culex quinquefasciatus, malaria mosquitoes show a higher biting aggressiveness and increased tolerances for some repellent substances. An. gambiae is the standard test mosquito for the toxicity evaluation of treated bednets, however, it can also be used for efficacy tests of repellent products. Since the breeding of this mosquito species is rather complex, the lead time for tests is usually a minimum of three weeks.

Southern house mosquito

The southern house mosquito Cx. quinquefasciatus is also widely distributed and occurs around the globe. Compared to Ae. aegypti, this nocturnal mosquito species shows a more restricted activity pattern, and is a little less bite agressive. Cx. quinquefasciatus settles close to human dwellings, and is one of the main vectors of the West Nile virus and filariasis. The lead time for breeding a sufficient number of Culex test mosquitoes is usually two to three weeks after the receipt of order.

Additional species

Colonies of domestic German mosquito species cannot be maintained under laboratory conditions, due to their species’ specific requirements. Products against domestic mosquitoes can be tested in the field with wild populations. Tests against other blood-sucking insects, e.g., tabanid flies, black flies, or stable flies are also only possible in the field.

Please contact us if you are interested in a specific target species. We are able to order certain test insects through our network with research groups worldwide, or identify suitable biotopes for field studies.