The fungus Beauveria bassiana reduces Aedes aegypti longevity in laboratory conditions, but effects on survival, blood-feeding behavior, and fecundity in realistic environmental conditions have not been tested. Adult, female Ae. aegypti infected with B. bassiana (FI-277) were monitored for blood-feeding success and fecundity in the laboratory. Fungal infection reduced mosquito-human contact by 30%. Fecundity was reduced by (mean ± SD) 29.3 ± 8.6 eggs per female per lifetime in the laboratory; egg batch size and viability were unaffected. Mosquito survival, blood-feeding behavior, and fecundity were also tested in 5 meter +7 meter +4 meter semi-field cages in northern Queensland, Australia. Fungal infection reduced mosquito survival in semi-field conditions by 59-95% in large cages compared with 61-69% in small cages. One semi-field cage trial demonstrated 80% reduction in blood-feeding; a second trial showed no significant effect. Infection did not affect fecundity in large cages. Beauveria bassiana can kill and may reduce biting of Ae. aegypti in semi-field conditions and in the laboratory. These results further support the use of B. bassiana as a potential biocontrol agent against Ae. aegypti.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases