Understanding Mosquito Behaviour

Wednesday 21st Sep 2022, 9.30am

What’s the most dangerous animal in the world? A grizzly bear? A lion? A poisonous tree frog? … How about a mosquito? Carrying diseases such as dengue virus, Zika virus and malaria, mosquitoes can be thought of as some of the most dangerous animals on the planet. One model estimates there are nearly 400 million dengue virus infections per year [1] – with numbers set to increase alongside a warming climate. So, is there any way we can begin to control mosquito populations, and therefore limit the spread of the deadly diseases they carry? As Maisie Vollans from Oxford’s Department of Biology explains, understanding mosquito behaviour is a key step in this process.

[1]  Bhatt, S., et al., The global distribution and burden of dengue. Nature, 2013. 496(7446): p. 504–507

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