Can Mosquitoes Vector HIV?

During the mid 1980s, there was concern that mosquitoes could vector HIV. There were studies conducted in the United States and abroad. They found that mosquitoes did not transmit HIV. However, there was still a lot of misconception about mosquitoes and AIDS. Fortunately, modern medical treatment has made living with HIV safer.

When a mosquito bites a human, the mosquito takes blood and saliva into its digestive system. It then breaks down the blood and nutrients in its gut. Its digestive system also degrades the HIV virus. Some viruses are resistant to the digestion process.

Some viruses make it into the mosquito’s salivary glands, but not HIV. It cannot reproduce in mosquitoes because mosquitoes do not have the cell receptors needed to reproduce HIV.

Mosquitoes can spread a number of diseases, including malaria. They also carry the dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis viruses. However, malaria is caused by a parasite that lives in the mosquito gut. The parasite migrates to the insect salivary glands. It then matures into an infectious form.

The mosquito’s digestive system also breaks down the virus particles in the blood. However, some viruses can survive the process. Some viruses are even able to bore their way out of the mosquito’s stomach. The digestive system of the mosquito breaks down the virus in a manner that is similar to how a human would break down food. The amount of virus that is present in the mosquito’s mouth part is quite small.